Class of 1961 to reunite this fall

Peter Durocher, an aerospace engineer from the class of 1961, is looking forward to his 50th class reunion when Trine will honor his class during homecoming on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. Durocher returned to campus last year for the Alumni and Friends Scholarship Golf Outing in August and was overwhelmed by the transformation.

Mr Tri-State

“I was so surprised by what I saw – the changes are incredible,” said Durocher. “Since I was on campus in early August, classes were not in session. I am most looking forward to seeing what university life is like for a Trine student. There are so many new facets to campus – the athletic buildings, the new library, and the living quarters. I want to see what campus life is like for a student now.”

Durocher remembers attending school with many veterans and listening to their trials and tribulations. Several of his friends lived in the barracks, which are quite different than the university’s new, resort–quality housing.

“I can’t believe it’s been 50 years,” said Joe Lamirand, who earned his electrical engineering degree in 1961. “Time has gone by so fast.”

Mr. Tri-State – Back row (L to R) James Harmon, Earle Yoder, Dennis Paauwe. Front row (L to R) Irwin Winkle, Joe Hersey

Lamirand lives near Indianapolis and plays in the annual Alumni and Friends Scholarship Golf Outing every August. Like Durocher, Lamirand has not had the opportunity to see campus and all of the newly renovated buildings.

“I was a co–op student, so I was always on and off campus, but I know I will remember many of the guys I graduated with. I think it will be interesting to see what everyone has been doing,” Lamirand said. “I want the class to come back to campus to see how it has expanded and grown.”

Lamirand remembers men participating in the canoe race for one quarter’s discounted tuition. He enjoyed the small class sizes and how his professors took the time to get to know their students.

Gary Secor, who earned his business administration degree, has not been back to campus since he graduated 50 years ago. He was in the Alpha Gamma Upsilon fraternity and fondly remembers his professor, Wayne Champion.


“Champ was a great professor,” Secor said. “He even nominated me for Mr. Tri–State, and I was runner–up.”

Elected Mr. Tri–State, Joe Hersey, a business administration major, has many fond memories of campus life as well. He was involved in the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity and enjoyed writing a column, “Ask Stan Slanders,” for The Triangle. He also remembers a very tough economics professor, Everett Schadt.

Hersey now lives in Steuben County on Golden Lake. He and his wife, Julie, returned to the Angola area in 1999 after retirement.

Fall Festival and the Tri-State Barbershop Quartet
He enjoys attending football games, concerts and movie nights and dining in the café, Whitney Commons. He also sits on the board for Christian Campus House and is a member of the Ketner School of Business advisory board. Hersey is very fond of Trine and is most looking forward to “looking backward” and reminiscing with all of his old friends.

Sonia (Joyce) Fry was the only female to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1961. She said selecting Tri–State for college was an easy choice because she was awarded a Harriett Trucking Scholarship, which afforded her the opportunity to further her education. Even though she was one of only a few of the woman attending Tri–State at the time, she made friends with the other women on campus and had several male friends and study partners. She was also one of the three cheerleaders for the basketball team.

Bill Warner, a mechanical engineering graduate, remembers Tri–State College as a bare bones institution. He reflects on campus then and now.

“Today campus is very modern, traditional, and vibrant. If you have not seen the new buildings and renovations, you must travel back to campus,” Warner said. “They did a tremendous job at keeping the old feel with an innovative touch.”

Warner realizes it might be hard for members of ’61 who haven’t been back since graduation to step onto campus.

“It’s hard to come back the first time, but once you do, you will find joy and want to make the trip back time and time again,” Warner said. “I want to talk with the class and see where their lives have taken them. I am sure we all have had many dreams fulfilled and many dreams shattered.”

He encourages all of the class of ’61 to “break the barrier and come back” to campus on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 for Homecoming 2011. For more information about homecoming festivities, contact the office of alumni and development at (260) 665-4114.