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Dr. Trine receives Sagamore of the Wabash
Gov. Daniels travels to Trine University to present award
April 14, 2010--Gov. Mitch Daniels traveled to Trine University in Angola, Ind., to present university trustee, alumnus and benefactor Dr. Ralph Trine the Sagamore of the Wabash award Wednesday. The Sagamore of the Wabash is the highest civilian award given by the governor’s office.
Dr. Ralph Trine, left, with his wife, Dr. Sheri Trine, holds the Sagamore of the Wabash award presented to him by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels Wednesday in Fabiani Theatre. The award is the highest civilian honor given by the Indiana governor.
Dr. Trine, of Angola, is chairman and CEO of Vestil Manufacturing Corp., a specialist in automotive and material handling equipment, equipment for physically disabled children, and ergonomic solutions, with plants in northeast Indiana, Wisconsin and China. He has been an ardent supporter and board member of Trine University, donating the T. Furth Center for Performing Arts and making numerous other significant contributions. A nature and animal lover, he and his family donated the former Oakhill Conference and Retreat Center to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Recreation to be used as the Trine State Recreation Area, an annex at Pokagon State Park.
Dr. Trine has earned numerous awards for service and philanthropy, including induction last June into The Indiana Academy by the Independent Colleges of Indiana Foundation for lifetime achievement and contributions to the cultural, scientific, literary, civic, religious and educational development of Indiana.
Gov. Daniels commended Dr. Trine for his life of service during the awards ceremony in Fabiani Theatre in Trine’s University Center, noting that the fusion of great business success and great public commitment marks a true Sagamore.
Commenting upon the Trine family’s contribution to the advancement of the state and university, “It’s important to note it’s a two-way street,” he said. “His education here let him build a business which provides opportunity and hope and a better life for so many. That circle of hard work leading to success in life and then paying back to those who made it possible … is a very American tradition, and Ralph Trine is a particularly great American.”
On the rarity of the award, “My team approaches me trembling with these requests,” he joked. “But however high you set the bar, Ralph Trine surpasses all the requirements easily. There are not many citizens like him.”
Dr. Trine said the award humbled him, and that he in turn appreciated the accomplishments of many other people. “On Sundays Sheri and I come to campus and watch the students and enjoy the improvements. It’s a great feeling, and we appreciate everyone who has done so much,” he said, requesting a hand of applause for his wife’s many efforts on behalf of the university.