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Gala shatters giving record
Supporters raise $162,000 for scholarships
Feb. 13, 2010--If senior Adam Shiltz’s speech left any doubt about Trine support, the nearly 400 alumni and friends gathered for the seventh annual Black and White Scholarship Gala provided the definitive proof--$162,000 for student scholarships. Donors combined to increase giving by 50 percent over last year, generating the most funds ever raised by the event.
Trine alumni and friends enjoy the Black and White Scholarship Gala.
Shiltz, a design engineering technology major, took the podium at the university’s annual scholarship fundraiser in Ketner Sports Center to make some heartfelt comments about the impact of Trine scholarships upon his life. “They say ‘At Trine, you can,’ and it’s valid,” Shiltz said.
The young man, who played Thunder baseball, taught Junior Achievement at a local high school, established the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Trine and served as a tour guide for visiting students, expressed his gratitude for the experiences provided in part through donor generosity. “Each year, donors give to help. You provide an environment that sparks our interest. An environment that teaches us to go to class and be responsible. I would not be here without a scholarship,” he said.
Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, a Trine trustee, auctions valuable and unusual gifts from donors at the annual Scholarship Gala.
Trine supporters not only broke records for attendance and total funds raised, they created some new benchmarks for the future. Vice President for Alumni and Development Bob Remington took the microphone during a live auction to raise money for textbooks. Seventeen supporters stepped up to provide $500 book scholarships for Trine students, while Trine Trustee Rick James, CEO for Metal Technologies in Auburn, and his wife, Vicki, purchased naming rights to a private suite in the Fred Zollner Athletic Stadium for $27,500.
In his welcome speech, Trine University President Earl Brooks II said 95 percent of Trine students annually receive scholarships or financial aid, and that the scholarship gala has provided over $550,000 in scholarships since its inception.
Local and state legislators attended to show their support, including Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, a professional auctioneer and Trine trustee, who called a live auction of unusual items such as vacations, a plane ride, jewelry, and a private dinner in the university’s Bateman Dining Room. Rep. Dick Dodge, R-Pleasant Lake, was also among the dignitaries.
Donors enjoyed dinner by Bon Appétit Management Co., wine tasting by Biaggi’s Restaurante Italiano, music by the Trine Jazz Band and a silent auction for gifts from regional donors. Scholarship Gala Committee members Melanie Brooks, Sheri Trine, Beth Beech, Jill Boggs, Sarah Brown, Sherry Fulk, Melanie Harmon, Dareen McClelland, Lorrie Simmons, Diane Stock, Karen Stuckey, Anne Watkins and Judy Weaver were also recognized.
“That Trine alumni and friends increased scholarship funding by 50 percent over last year underscores their deep commitment to higher education and their faith in the direction of Trine University,” said President Earl D. Brooks II. “We are grateful for their support and generosity.”