Gala passes million-dollar mark

Trine University passed the million-dollar mark on the evening of Feb. 11 at its ninth annual Black and White Scholarship Gala, which included dinner, entertainment and live and silent auctions.

"In the nine years of this event, we have received over $1 million for student scholarships," said Trine president Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D. "Ninety-eight percent of our students receive some form of institutional scholarship or financial aid assistance that helps them pay for the classes, textbooks, lab fees, technology and more."

This year, friends and donors provided approximately a quarter-million dollars for student scholarships, officials reported. In addition to funds raised through auction sales and tickets, generous donors contributed money by providing $114,000 in sponsorships for scholarships. Supporters also gave more than $66,000 to the Books and Beyond Scholarship program.

State Sen. Dennis Kruse (R–Auburn) served as the auctioneer for the live auction. He warmed up bidders by asking them to purchase Books and Beyond scholarships. The MTI Foundation, Inc. challenged people to sponsor Books and Beyond Scholarships, valued at $500 each, for Trine University students. Metal Technologies, Inc., chairman and chief executive officer, university trustee and alumnus Rick James and his wife, Vicki, along with the MTI Foundation, Inc. challenged others to support the program with a $30,000 matching challenge.

Junior mechanical engineering major Brett Steineman of Huntington told the 330–person audience that when selecting a university, he was torn between Trine and another school. Steineman said he selected the other school as his first choice, but changed his decision to Trine because of the scholarship opportunities Trine offered. Now, looking back, Steineman said, Trine would have been his first, and only, choice.

Steineman said it has been easy to become involved in university activities and build relationships all over campus. He also has participated in cooperative education opportunities at Biomet in Warsaw.

Throughout the evening, Steineman interacted with alumni and university supporters who were bidding on the 250 silent auction items, which included things such as unique jewelry, travel packages, arts and collectibles, fine wines, gift certificates and more.

While perusing auction items, people could also sample wine from Biaggi′s or taste hor d′ouerves by Bon Appetit Management Co. that were delicately arranged around stunning ice sculptures. The Trine University Jazz Band, under the direction of Mark Kays, entertained the crowd.

Next year′s scholarship gala will be Saturday, Feb. 9. Those who are interested in attending, sponsoring the event, donating auction items or purchasing textbook scholarships should contact the alumni and development office at 260.665.4114.

If you couldn′t make it to this year′s gala, here′s a slideshow highlighting the evenings events.