Reiner's HallReiners Hall, scheduled to open in August.

Brooks plans to keep momentum going

Outstanding efforts and generous support have propelled Trine University to a new high, one that has been unparalleled in recent years.

During the past two years, Trine has bolstered its endowment,  invested more than $25 million in capital projects, topped its enrollment and introduced academic programs. Its success also boosts local, regional and statewide economies with an economic impact of more than $75 million.

“We are excited and motivated by the carefully planned growth trajectory Trine University is experiencing,” said Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine president. “Despite all of the progress, we are not finished. We’ll keep the momentum going to advance Trine, our students and our mission.”

Thanks to a focused fundraising team and generous alumni and friends who support Trine, the $75 million Invest in Excellence campaign has raised $57.5 million, or 77 percent of the goal, as of April 30. The campaign was designed to support the annual fund, provide for capital renovations and new construction, and increase institutional endowment. During the past two years, Trine posted development activity of gifts received and new pledges totaling $37.6 million.  

Proceeds from the campaign have elevated the endowment portion of the campaign by more than $4 million in the past 24 months.

“The success of the Invest in Excellence capital campaign has already spurred conversations by the administration and Board of Trustees to possibly expand and increase the size of the campaign,” Brooks said.

Campus changes

Donations to the campaign have also enabled Trine to have near constant construction. During the past two years, the significant upgrades and additions include:

  • Construction of the Jim and Joan Bock Center for Innovation and Biomedical Engineering, which opened in August 2013 ($4.5 million);
  • Transformation of the historic First Christian Church into the T. Furth Center for Performing Arts with Ryan Concert Hall, which opened in May 2014 ($8.3 million);
  • Completion in January 2015 of 300-seat expansion of Whitney Commons dining hall in the Rick L. and Vicki L. James University Center ($300,000);
  • April 2015 opening of SportONE/Parkview Softball Field, home of the nationally ranked Thunder softball team, with Ben Davis Memorial Press Box ($350,000);
  • Complete interior and exterior renovation of Ford Hall, home of the Ketner School of Business, which is scheduled to open this fall ($5.5 million);
  • Building of 170-bed Larry and Judy Reiners Residence Hall, set to open this fall ($7 million);
  • Construction of Ryan Tennis Center will begin soon and is scheduled for completion this fall ($250,000);
  • Full renovation completed in fall 2014 of Health Sciences Education Center, home of the new Doctor of Physical Therapy program, on Parkview Hospital’s Randallia campus in Fort Wayne ($1.4 million). This project was recently awarded a 2015 Excellence in Construction Award by the Building Contractors Association of Northeast Indiana.

Record enrollment

The campus community is equally proud of an institution record of 3,700 students set last fall thanks to enrollment growth of 50 percent. Brooks attributed that unprecedented increase to enhanced initiatives in the Office of Admission and a campus-wide effort to maintain a safe, welcoming environment.

For fall 2015, early projections show Trine is again on track for more than 600 new students. That anticipated success is credited to Trine’s reputation for rigorous academics that prepare students for careers, ongoing efforts by the Office of Admission and the Pay it Forward program in which alumni refer potential students.

In addition to what can be easily seen with more students and new structures, Trine also established the School of Health Sciences in April 2014 and the College of Engineering and Business in January 2015. The new college was developed to harness the strengths and collaborative efforts of the Allen School of Engineering & Technology and the Ketner School of Business.

Academic programs debut

New academic programs include:

  • The Doctor of Physical Therapy, Trine’s first doctoral program,  welcomed its first cohort of students in fall 2014;
  • Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in engineering management was introduced  in fall 2014;
  • Bachelor of Science in cybersecurity and Bachelor of Arts in professional writing and English studies, were new in fall 2014;
  • Teacher education dual licensure program for kindergarten through sixth grade (K-6) elementary education and K-6 special education/mild intervention begins this fall;
  • Legendary coach and Trine trustee Lou Holtz put his name and proven leadership style on the Lou Holtz Master of Science in Leadership program in fall 2013; and
  • Master of Physician Assistant Studies program to begin in January 2017.

Brooks is grateful for the alumni, donors and friends who embrace and support Trine’s 133-year tradition of high standards that creates career-ready graduates. Such standards resulted in a 99.7 percent employment rate for 2014 grads; that means most of Trine grads were employed or in graduate school within six months of graduating.

“People believe in Trine University because they have witnessed Trine’s capabilities and the success of our grads. Our supporters recognize our pursuit of excellence and we are privileged to have their financial support,” Brooks said. “It’s also truly rewarding to lead a university team that strives to make Trine the best it can be for students  and shares a common goal of helping to ensure our students succeed. Ninety-seven percent of our employees reinforce their actions with financial support, too, by  contributing to our employee giving campaign.”