Bo knows: Former MLB, NFL All-Star Jackson to highlight Trine Gala

November 27, 2023

Bo JacksonOn Feb. 10, Bo will know Trine University.

Famed multisport professional athlete Bo Jackson will highlight Trine University’s 20th annual Scholarship Gala, which raises money for student scholarships.

The event starts at 6 p.m. in the Keith E. Busse/Steel Dynamics, Inc. Athletic Recreation Center on Trine’s Angola campus.

In addition to Jackson’s presentation, those in attendance will enjoy wine tasting, a gourmet dinner by Bon Appetit, live music provided by the Trine University Jazz Band, and live and silent auctions including sports memorabilia, vacations, jewelry, experience packages and artwork.

Two-sport All-Star

Considered one of the greatest athletes of all time, Bo Jackson is the only professional athlete to be named an All-Star in both Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Football League (NFL).

In college, he was a running back for Auburn University, winning the Heisman Trophy in 1985. He holds the Southeastern Conference (SEC) record for average yards per carry with 6.6. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

He also competed in college baseball and track and field, qualifying for the NCAA national meet in the 100-meter dash his freshman and sophomore years.

He went on to play in the NFL for the Los Angeles Raiders and in the MLB for the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox and California Angels. He rushed for 2,782 yards and 16 touchdowns during four seasons with the Raiders, and caught 40 passes for 352 yards and two touchdowns. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1990.

As a player for the Royals, he was voted to start for the American League All-Star team in 1989 and was named the game’s most valuable player. He tied a major league record with home runs in four consecutive at-bats. He finished his eight-season MLB career with 141 home runs and 415 RBIs.

He was featured in the popular “Bo Knows” ad campaign for Nike in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which envisioned him taking up other sports besides baseball and football, and even blues music with Bo Diddley.

Millions raised for scholarships

Since its inception, the Scholarship Gala has raised millions for Trine University student scholarships, including more than $1 million each of the last three years. Scholarship funds are a critical part of allowing students to attend Trine, which awarded more than $48 million in institutional aid in 2022-23.

The university will offer the opportunity to fund $500 Books and Beyond Scholarships during the Gala. Contributions to the Books and Beyond Scholarship program go directly to financially disadvantaged students, allowing them to purchase needed books, computers, school and lab supplies, and meals. Funds also help students pay modest account balances that will allow them to register next semester for classes.

Trine board chair and alumnus Dr. Rick L. James and his wife, Dr. Vicki L. James, and The James Foundation, Inc., as they have for a number of years, are offering a matching grant for Books and Beyond scholarships. This year they will match $300,000.

“Vicki and I always look forward to the Scholarship Gala, because it’s both a very enjoyable event and it’s a great way to help Trine University students receive a quality, career-focused education,” said Rick James. “We are excited to hear what Bo Jackson has to say, and proud to once again be part of this effort to assist Trine and its students.”

Sponsorship packages and tickets are available through Feb. 3. To reserve tickets ($125 each), donate an auction item or get sponsorship details, visit trine.edu/gala or call 665-4114.

For more information on the 2024 Trine Scholarship Gala, contact Clare Danner, director of alumni relations, at cadanner15@trine.edu, or Denise Geary, office manager, University Advancement, at gearyd@trine.edu, or call (260) 665-4114.

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