ANGOLA, Ind.-- Trine University honored and thanked those who helped bring a new softball field and press box to campus. The Thunder softball squad was also presented with MIAA Championship rings after the dedication that took place Saturday during homecoming weekend.
"Many students say the campus size and opportunity to participate in intercollegiate athletics is what brought them to Trine University," said Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D. Trine president. "Of course, those two elements could be viewed as the face of the Trine experience that is built on a tradition of rigorous academics, plentiful opportunities both in and out of the classroom, and strong support from faculty and staff, friends and alumni."
SportONE/Parkview Softball Field is named to recognize lead donors Parkview Ortho Hospital and Drs. Brett F. Gemlick, an orthopedic surgeon and former Trine trustee, and John C. Pritchard, a sports medicine specialist. Both physicians are with SportONE, a division of Orthopaedics NorthEast of Fort Wayne.
"We are thrilled to partner with Parkview Foundation and SportONE to provide this stadium," Brooks said before presenting a plaque to Julie Fleck, chief operating officer of Parkview Ortho Hospital, and Joe Baer, a certified athletic trainer who provides support to Trine University and is a member of the Parkview Sports Medicine team.
Trine also recognized Drs. Gemlick and Pritchard with the presentation of a plaque. Later, the duo delivered the game day ball via helicopter for the Thunder football game with Olivet.
Other lead donors honored for their participation in the softball field project include:
- Trine trustee Jerry Allen and his wife, Jorja, both 1978 alumni. The Allens support numerous endeavors on campus, including annual scholarship dollars to assist hard-working and deserving Trine students from their local area. In addition, the Allen School of Engineering and Technology is named in their honor.
- Trine trustee and 1966 alumnus Mitch Rhoads, and his wife, Debra, longtime supporters. On Friday, Trine dedicated the newly renovated Ford Hall, home of the Ketner School of Business that houses the Mitchel E. and Debra S. Rhoads Center for Entrepreneurship.
- Trine trustee and 1976 alumnus Keith Turner and his wife, Cindy. They have supported the university in numerous ways throughout the years by donating to the Scholarship Fund, multiple capital projects, Scholarship Golf outings and Scholarship Gala.
- Trustee Jack Shaw and his wife, Sue. They have supported many classroom endeavors and Thunder athletic programs. For each home football game, they use their helicopter to deliver Storm or special guests on the field with the game ball.
Other significant donors include Angola Dental Center, Dr. Guy Moore, Rich Kruger, Rick Gowthrop and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
Also dedicated was the Ben Davis Memorial Press Box, named in honor of the late Ben Davis, who co-owned the Harold Chevrolet Buick dealership. Joe Hysong, general manager and vice president of Harold Chevrolet, and his wife, Libby, were thanked for the dealership's commitment. In October 2011, Trine dedicated the Harold Chevrolet Buick Concession Stand in Fred Zollner Athletic Stadium.
After the dedication, the Thunder softball team received MIAA Conference Championship rings. The team has had eight straight MIAA conference championships and eight straight NCAA Regional appearances reaching a national ranking as high as No. 2 in the nation in 2014.
They have averaged 30 wins per season since 2007 and competed in the NCAA Division III National Championship in 2014.