Engineer-entrepreneur Pierce: University days great
Although Casey Pierce, a 2007 design engineering technology graduate, has experienced professional success as a quality engineer in Indianapolis, he remembers his Tri–State University days fondly.
"My best college memories are all the people I met and became friends with over the years, and still do now as an alumnus. There was never a dull moment at Delta Chi, and I always knew that I would have a great laugh or two during track practice. I think the greatest moment, besides graduating, was when I won the Victor T. Donaldson Campus Involvement Award, given to one graduating senior each year. The look on my Mom′s face was unforgettable. She was blown away, with tears and a huge smile, which really made me feel good. That award made me realize that I definitely got a great experience out of my time at Tri–State University, which is why I come back so much," he said.
He started his career at Altec Industries June 18, 2007. "During my time there, I was a quality engineer who oversaw the warranty claims that came into the division, and was the continuous improvement coordinator. I oversaw a lot of projects that cut waste and money to make the division and products better," he said. He just left Altec in September to work for Iwis Drive Systems LLC.
As a Tri–State student, he served on Student Senate for his dorm hall and fraternity, was a member of the track team, and acted as a tour guide on campus visit days. But his involvement continues today.
"I′m on the Alumni Board of Trustees for Delta Chi, am one of 10 founding members of the Industrial Advisory Board for Design Engineering Technology, have participated in Career Services workshops, and showcased Altec Industries at the Allen School of Engineering & Technology Senior Design Expo," he said. He hopes to one day serve on the Alumni Board of Governors for Trine University.
Visits to campus and social media keep him current with fellow alumni. "I stay in touch with other alumni by coming back to events like Homecoming, alumni weekend for Delta Chi, and Alumni Board of Trustees meetings. I′m also on Facebook and Linked In. I think without Facebook or other social networks, I probably would have lost touch with a lot of people. However, being as active as I am on campus, I always seem to run into a familiar face or two," he said.
He views his college days as pivotal moments. "Being a part of this university is one of the greatest things in my life. I love coming back to the campus to see everyone, and to see the new changes. I′m glad I made the decision to come to this university back in 2002, because it has definitely contributed to the success I have today!"
Gunnar Wareberg, Tri–State′s first soccer coach and first computer science and technology professor, visited Trine in September to meet with colleague Al Guilford and others in the Allen School of Engineering & Technology before touring the revitalized campus.
"It′s been 50 years since I graduated from Tri–State in engineering in December 1959," Warberg said. He began teaching at Tri–State in 1960, when the college had no computer. "I had to have the students write programs and take them to Purdue and University of Michigan to run them," he recalled.
He moved on to complete a master′s at Case Western, where he found the Tri–State training good preparation for the graduate degree. After a stint with Bonar in Fort Wayne and then Canada, he and a colleague founded Optotek in 1977, the holding company for his own Wareberg Engineering, which he also later founded. He is president and CEO of Wareberg Engineering in Ontario today.
He spent his first two quarters in now long–demolished dormitories before moving to private housing during his time in Tri–State′s 27–month program, which he completed in 24. He coached the inaugural soccer team in 1964, faring well because of the skilled South American players on his team. He recalled only one loss that first year — to Notre Dame.
"I was impressed with the changes since I was teaching there during the early ′60s while Ralph Trine was a student at Tri–State College," he said. "I was pleasantly surprised and pleased that Ralph took the time to personally send me an e–mail welcoming me back for the visit."
"I also had the pleasure of meeting with the current chair of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Sean Carroll. During my stay in Angola I also met with Alan Stoudinger, EE 1962, my former student and former department chair, Dan Fuller, the former chair for chemical engineering, and many other good friends of mine."