Trine raises more than $450k at scholarship gala

February 12, 2014

ANGOLA, Ind. – Trine University again surpassed its record for fundraising at a single event when it brought in more than $450,000 on Saturday evening during its 11th annual Black and White Scholarship Gala.

"I continue to be awed and impressed by what our trustees, friends and supporters generously give to support our students," said Trine president Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D. "This money goes directly to Trine's scholarship fund and enables Trine to continue its tradition of institutional scholarship or financial aid to 98 percent of our students."

Throughout the evening, the 320 guests 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, each priced at $500 that students with financial need may use for textbooks, computers, school and lab supplies and meals. Trine exceeded a $50,000 matching grant from Metal Technologies Foundation. As in past years, Trine alumnus and trustee Rick L. James, and his wife, Vicki, initiated the matching grant, which was $15,000 more than was offered last year. At the gala, 34 Books and Beyond Scholarships were purchased, bringing the total to more than $120,000 for the program.

In addition, the Jameses and trustees Ralph and Sheri Trine teamed to offer $30,000 in a new match for alumni. Alums met the match by attending and sponsoring the gala, donating auction items or purchasing auction items.

"As an alumnus and trustee, I value what Trine offers and supporting the scholarship program is one way to show my support," said Rick L. James, chairman of Trine's Board of Trustees. "Each year, my wife Vicki and I are inspired by supporters who match the grant, so we've raised the match and donors have stepped up, too. It's very rewarding to give back to the school that launched my career."

Before dinner and between courses, attendees could place bids in a silent auction that featured 285 donated items from fine art to antique and vintage items. With so many options, including signed sports memorabilia, there was likely something for most every taste.

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. Wine was also offered for sale, with $5 donated to the scholarship fund from each bottle sold.

The Trine University Jazz Band, under the direction of Drew Parent, performed throughout the event, and Mike McNamara, a retired communication professor at Trine, was master of ceremonies. The event took place in the Keith E. Busse/Steel Dynamics Athletic and Recreation Center

The gala is Trine's primary fundraising event for student scholarships.

Anyone who would like to sponsor a $500 Books and Beyond Scholarship should contact Racheal Benner at 665.4834 or

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