Annual scholarship gala sets record

February 11, 2013

ANGOLA, Ind. – Trine University set a record on Saturday when it raised more than $300,000 at its 10th annual Black and White Scholarship Gala in the Keith E. Busse/Steel Dynamics Athletic and Recreation Center.

"That record means over $300,000 goes directly to our students," said Trine president Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D. "Ninety-eight percent of Trine students receive some form of institutional scholarship or financial aid, and funds raised at the gala will go a long way toward helping students."

During the evening, the 365 guests – also a record high – bid on items such as vacation packages and luxury jewelry in a live auction conducted by state Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn). Kruse started the auction with Books and Beyond Scholarships that students with financial need may use for textbooks, computers, school and lab supplies and meals. Trine has more than met a $35,000 matching grant from Metal Technologies Foundation, which translates to at least 140 scholarships at $500 apiece. As in past years, Trine alumnus and trustee Rick L. James, and his wife, Vicki, initiated the matching grant, which was $10,000 more than was offered last year.

Before dinner and between courses, attendees could place bids in a silent auction that featured more than 200 items ranging from getaways to antique pieces to designer handbags.

The evening included wine tasting offered by Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano, Fort Wayne, and appetizers and dinner by Bon Appetit Management Co., the food service provider at Trine.

The Trine University Jazz Band, under the direction of Christopher Lizak, performed throughout the event, and Mike McNamara, a retired communication professor at Trine, was master of ceremonies.

"This was certainly a record-setting event and I'm looking forward to what we'll accomplish next year," Brooks said. "I've learned to never underestimate the power of Trine's supporters and friends."

The gala is Trine's premiere fundraising event for student scholarships. Next year, the event is scheduled for Feb. 8, 2014.

Anyone who would like to sponsor a $500 Books and Beyond Scholarship should contact Gretchen M. Miller at 665.4312 or

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