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Giving back to his alma mater
Trine University President Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., presents a plaque to Metal Technologies Inc. chief executive officer Rick James, left, and his wife, Vicki, May 6 during the dedication ceremony for the Metal Technologies Inc. Health and Fitness Center in Zollner Stadium on the school's main campus in Angola.
Trine dedicates Metal Technologies Inc. Health and Fitness Center
ANGOLA, Ind. — Trine University honored Metal Technologies Inc. and Rick and Vicki James of Crooked Lake Friday morning, as the school dedicated the Metal Technologies Inc. Health and Fitness Center in Zollner Stadium, which opened in 2010.
Rick James serves as the CEO of Metal Technologies and is a 1977 graduate of Tri-State (now Trine). He and his wife have been active supporters of the university for many years.
“It is the people that spark this transformation of Trine University and that give it life and energy,” Trine president Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., said during the dedication ceremony. “Rick and Vicki James are two such people. They have consistently sacrificed their time, energies and resources … behind the scenes, without accolades, celebration and recognition.”
The Jameses offered the winning bid for a stadium suite at the university’s annual Black and White Scholarship Gala in 2010. They also donated a flagpole and spearheaded a campaign that raised more than $60,000 in textbook scholarships that go directly to students.
“As we wrap up another successful academic year at Trine and take note of the many changes on this campus, we must continue to look toward the future, as our transformational plan is not yet complete,” said Brooks, referring to the university’s endeavor to revitalize campus.
In the past decade, Trine completed a $90 million campaign with $75 million invested in facility improvements — including Zollner Stadium, a university center and student housing. The university also moved from being affiliated with the NAIA to the NCAA. As a result, 600 student-athletes now compete in 22 varsity sports, including field hockey and lacrosse, which were added in the last few years.
Rick James said he was impressed with the university’s progress, and said his company employs 10 Trine and Tri-State graduates, including university alumni process engineer Thad Conley and sales manager automotive Craig Barkey. In addition, the James’ son, Matt Fetter, who serves as the president of Metal Technologies, and Jeff Turner, senior vice president for administration and general counsel, attended the event.
“This university is producing quality graduates that are making a difference in their communities,” James said. “We consider ourselves extremely blessed to be able to give back. Thank you very much for this nice honor.”