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Feature Story

Trine celebrates 125th over weekend

2–3 October 2009

Trine University served up a plateful of activities and events Oct. 2 and 3 for Homecoming weekend in its 125th year—including alumni awards and first looks at a new field house, band, mascot, athletic stadium plan and capital campaign.

After toasting donors at the annual Touchstone Awards Dinner Friday night, the university turned its attention toward particularly accomplished alumni at the Homecoming Awards Breakfast Saturday.

Trine trustee and alumnus Lynn Brooks received Trine’s Distinguished Service Award. Brooks earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Tri-State in 1975, and became an Indiana certified public accountant in 1978. He is president and chief executive officer of Rieke Packaging Systems in Auburn.

Donald Jordan, a 1954 civil engineering graduate, earned Trine’s Outstanding Achievement Award. Jordan is an inaugural member of the Touchstone Society for university financial supporters. He is retired from the U.S. Geological Survey, a federal source for science about the Earth, its natural and living resources, natural hazards, and the environment.

Jason Stechschulte, a 2003 civil engineering graduate, was presented the Distinguished Service Young Alumnus Award. Stechschulte works for Marathon Oil Co. in Findlay, Ohio, where he directs the maintenance of the company’s United States pipeline.

Alumni then viewed Trine’s new Athletic and Recreation Center (ARC) and its 200-meter Richard and Joan Gollnick indoor track during a dedication ceremony. Gollnick coached track and field and he and his late wife were ardent supporters of the Tri-State track program for 30 years. He was presented with a portrait honoring his work with the track program, and a plaque and picture memorializing the facility as the Richard and Joan Gollnick Track were unveiled.

In receiving his portrait, Gollnick praised donors and Trine President Earl D. Brooks II for their roles in making the track a reality. Former Tri-State track athletes then lined the edge of the track as supporters unveiled the track’s name displayed on the floor.

Brooks also announced a plan for the construction of the Fred Zollner Athletic Stadium, with new lockers, offices, weight room and 3,500 seats by July 1, 2010. Brooks said growing athletic programs necessitate the facility. “We have over 500 student-athletes involved in 22 sports next fall when we add field hockey. It is very rewarding to see, and out of this has grown the need for this stadium to serve football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey,” he said.

Brooks also dedicated Elliott Drive, the street to the golf course apartments, in honor of 11th university president Carl H. Elliott. Elliott presided from 1974-1984, and under his leadership, the name changed from Tri-State College to Tri-State University, and elementary education and computer science programs were established. “This is a real honor. I have great pride in this institution, and hope I did indeed contribute something to it,” Elliott said.

Alumni and other fans packed the stands for the homecoming football game against Hope College, where alumni enjoyed a first view of “Storm,” Thunder Athletics’ mascot, and Trine’s marching band in striking new navy-and-gold uniforms. After Trine’s football victory, supporters gathered in the University Center to celebrate the university’s 125 years in higher education.

During the weekend, President Brooks praised the success of the university’s $90 million Vision for the Future capital campaign, the impetus for a massive upgrade of the campus and athletic programs. He also announced the beginning of a $75 million phase two, two-thirds of which will be devoted to the university’s Annual Fund, scholarships and endowment.

More homecoming Stuff!

+ Turning on the Lights!

+ Touchstone Honorees

+ Photo Gallery from Homecoming

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