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Our University, Our Future
Trine welcomes alumni 'home'
ANGOLA, Ind. – Trine University made another major step toward launching its next capital campaign, university officials announced at the school’s 16th annual Touchstone Donor Recognition Dinner Sept. 29 in Ketner Sports Complex during the school’s 2011 homecoming celebration.
In addition to many university supporters, three donors were honored for their recent, significant contributions, which totaled over $5 million. Bon Appetit Management Co. gifted $650,000 to the university. Two anonymous donors gave $1.5 million for music and performing arts and $3 million for capital projects and student scholarships.
“What a way to jumpstart a campaign. We went from $11 million to a little over $16 million to allow this institution to make another major step forward,” said Trine University president Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D.
Also at the dinner, Brooks’ wife, Melanie, was named the Woman of Distinction for 2011. Melanie Brooks is the co-founder and chair of the Trine University Black and White Scholarship Gala, which is headed into its ninth year and has raised nearly $1 million to support student scholarships. She has hosted alumni, donors, friends and employees and attended multiple alumni events.
Trustee and 1954 alumnus James Bock was awarded the university’s Pillar of Success. Bock helped lead Trine’s research into becoming a contributing part of innovative growth in the region. He and his wife, Joan, gifted $1 million to fund the building to launch Trine’s biomedical program. In the very near future, the university will start work on the Jim and Joan Bock Center for Biomedical Engineering.
In addition, university trustee Louis D. Holtz made a guest appearance via video at the dinner. He thanked and encouraged donors from his Florida home. Holtz was not able to attend the dinner due to his commitments as a sports analyst at ESPN.
On Friday night, Tim Adams, MA ’72 received the Outstanding Achievement Award, and John Anderson, BA ’74, and Mathew Iacobelli, a 2009 management graduate, received Alumni Distinguished Service Awards during the Homecoming Awards Dinner.
Adams is a senior reliability engineer in NASA Kennedy Space Center’s engineering and technology directorate and is recognized across NASA, as well as industry and academia, as an expert in the area of engineering assurance, with an emphasis on reliability and maintainability engineering.
Anderson co-founded W&A Distribution in 1990, after working for Schweiger Industries in Wisconsin for 11 years. He received the management achievement award from Fleet Owner magazine for being one of the first fleets to secure freight on a for-hire basis after governmental deregulation of the industry in 1980. He served as the chairman of the Fort Atkinson Vocational and Technical Scholarship Committee and also has been an active Lions Club member.
After graduation, Iacobelli went to work as a production supervisor at his family-owned and operated business, Sun-Brite Foods Inc. Even though he has been out of school only two years, he already has started a scholarship fund to help struggling students.
Col. George Higginson, BAD ’63, received the university’s surprise Distinguished Service Award. He and his wife, Ellie, started the Col. George and Ellie Higginson Scholarship Fund. By giving students opportunities to pursue higher education, he believes he is laying the groundwork for them to be happy and successful in life, in whatever they choose to do.
Amanda Portis Malefyt, ChE ’04, and Jason Stechschulte, CE ’03, were inducted into the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Malefyt set four university records and two Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference records in outdoor track. She was a six-time national qualifier and All-American in the 5000-meter and 10000-meter runs. She also was the NAIA 10000-meter national champion in 2003.
Her success was not limited to the track or cross country course. Portis was also named the university’s chemical engineering student of the year for three consecutive years, maintaining almost a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. She also received the Cheryl Coons Scholar Athlete Award in 2004 and was named an Academic All-American and All-Conference.
While in school, Stechschulte was named a two-time All-American football player, a three-time All-Conference player and an Academic All-American senior. He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and the American Society of Civil Engineers. He received the Robert L. Greim Most Outstanding Senior Male Athlete. He had 201 career tackles and broke the school and conference record with 19 career interceptions.
“Based on their accomplishments these are certainly two of these strongest candidates that we’ve had nominated and inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame,” said athletic director Jeff Posendek.
In addition, alumnus Eric Watt, ’10, received the Albert L. Deal Award from the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The award is named in honor of Albert L. Deal, who served as the MIAA commissioner from 1970-1990. It recognizes the top male graduating scholar athlete, based upon athletic accomplishments, academic achievement and community service. Watt currently is pursuing his interest of playing European football.
Watt’s No. 13 also was permanently retired. His jersey will be on display in the Fred Zollner Athletic Stadium.
On Saturday, alumni and friends enjoyed a host of homecoming activities – from breakfast in Whitney Commons to the Tour de Trine tricycle race. Delta Chi fraternity and Zeta Theta Epsilon sorority both were awarded the President’s Cup.
To share your news, contact Trine University communication specialist Lindsay Winslow Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.