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Homecoming huge success
Game wraps up near-perfect weekend
Weather in the eighties, new buildings to admire, old friends to meet, and a Thunder football win against ranked Franklin College spelled a nearly perfect Homecoming weekend for alumni and friends visiting the revitalized Trine University campus Friday and Saturday.
While the game, complete with skydivers, fireworks, and standing-room crowd, wrapped up the weekend at a fever pitch, plenty happened beforehand to engage the crowd and ignite excitement and pride in the university.
The Friday night Touchstone Dinner honored notable alumni benefactors, including Dr. Robert L. Jannen, a 1950 chemical engineering graduate, and Dr. William Gettig, a 1949 mechanical engineering graduate, with the Pillar of Success Award, the university’s highest distinction. Both chairs emeritus of the board of trustees, the men have benefitted the university in innumerable ways.
Dr. Jannen contributed the new University Center site, improved athletic facilities, and established the Jannen Renaissance Award for annual support of a student and faculty member, among other gestures of support. Among Dr. Gettig’s contributions are the Gettig Scholarship Endowment Fund, the fitness center in the University Center, and the Gettig Carillon in the tower of the C.W. Sponsel Administration Center.
Trine faculty member Dr. Dolores Tichenor earned the 2008 Woman of Distinction Award, which recognizes the contributions of women in the areas of philanthropy, business, and education. Tichenor is assistant vice president of study abroad, director of institutional planning and analysis, and professor of mathematics. She has extended financial support to the university’s endowed scholarships, Annual Fund, Scholarship Gala, Alumni & Friends Golf Outing, and library collections.
The Lilly Endowment Inc. and Drs. Ralph and Sheri Trine were recognized as Lifetime Donors for record gifts to the university.
The Homecoming Awards Breakfast Saturday morning recognized alumni elected by the Alumni Board of Governors for outstanding service to community, professional achievement, and supporting university ideals. William Lusk and Al Dausman, who graduated with civil engineering degrees in 1970 and 1977, respectively, received Outstanding Achievement Awards. Distinguished Service Awards went to Trine Trustee Mitchel Rhoads, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1966, and James Krzyzewski, who earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 1971.
Joseph D. Miller and Ruth Wertz, who completed mechanical engineering degrees in 1992 and 2002, respectively, received Distinguished Service Young Alumnus Awards.
Scholar-athletes recognized by the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with Four-Year Academic Honor Roll awards were Matt Eby, a football standout who earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering this spring, and Amanda Steiner, a tennis player who graduated this spring with a degree in communication.
Entered into the Trine Hall of Fame for athletic achievement were 2001 graduate Eugueni Ganokhin for volleyball, 2000 men’s golf team members Gary Geszti, Andy Opliger, Andy Lindsay, Rob Klinefelter, and Ben Gilpin, and the 1998 football team, which reached the final four in the 1998 NAIA national semi-finals.
After the breakfast, supporters got the first look at Trine’s new Golf Course Village student apartments, attending a dedication and then touring the freshman honors residence on Zollner Golf Course. A look into the future of campus athletic facilities was provided by Trine President Dr. Earl Brooks at a groundbreaking ceremony on the site of the planned Athletic and Recreation Center (ARC). The new center will include a 200-meter indoor track, practice facilities for tennis and baseball, and recreation opportunities for all students.
The Office of Student Life kept student life energetic with a pep rally and bonfire, fireworks display and concert Friday night and the new Tour de Trine tricycle race on Park Avenue Saturday. Students and fans fueled up for the game at a pre-game tailgate lunch in Whitney Commons or at their own tailgate gatherings on the parking lot east of Shive Field.