Challenged by special guest speaker Lou Holtz to make a difference in the lives of
others, a record crowd at Trine University’s 16th annual Scholarship Gala contributed nearly $1 million toward scholarships for Trine
The event drew a record crowd of 515 to the Keith E. Busse/Steel Dynamics Inc. Athletic
and Recreation Center on Feb 9. In addition to hearing remarks from Holtz, guests
enjoyed a gourmet dinner from Bon Appetit, a wine tasting, and live music provided
by the Trine University Jazz Band.
The Gala also included live and silent auctions that included items such as sports
memorabilia, vacations, jewelry, experience packages and artwork. The auctions and
donations throughout the evening raised $975,000 for student scholarships.
“Every dollar raised here goes to support the students of Trine University,” said
Earl D. Brooks, Ph.D., university president.
Holtz, member of the College Football Hall of Fame and author of three New York Times
bestselling books, previously spoke at Trine in 2015 and 2017 as part of the university’s
Distinguished Speaker Series, and was the 2011 Commencement speaker. The namesake
of Trine University’s Lou Holtz Master of Science in Leadership program, Holtz served
as a member of Trine’s Board of Trustees, and was named trustee emeritus in 2017.
“Just coming to this campus, I can see the pride the way the grounds are kept,” Holtz
said. “Everything Trine does, they do it in a first-class atmosphere.”
In remarks sprinkled with his trademark humor and stories from his own life, Holtz
encouraged those in attendance to pay forward what they had received in their own
lives by assisting others when they have the opportunity.
He recalled being called home during his junior year of college to be told his parents
were divorcing after 27 years of marriage. Devastated and needing to return to campus
to continue classes, he began hitchhiking back during a January snowstorm. Finally
a car pulled up, and two men gave him a ride all the way back to college.
“I said, ‘I don’t have any money to give you. What can I do?’ ” Holtz remembered.
“They said, ‘Do a favor sometime for somebody and remember us.’ ”
“You can’t repay the people who played such an important role in your life. But one
thing you can do, you can pay forward on it.”
Holtz closed with a reading titled “What Will Matter,” which included: “What will
matter is not what you bought, but what you built. Not what you got, but what you
gave. What will matter is not your success, but your significance. … What will matter
is every act of integrity, compassion and courage. Your sacrifices that enriched,
empowered and encouraged others to emulate your example.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, by being here tonight, you’ve proved you’ve lived a life that
matters,” he concluded. “You’re helping other people: people you don’t know, but people
who definitely need your help.”
Since its inception, the Scholarship Gala has raised millions of dollars for Trine
University student scholarships. Scholarship funds are a critical part of allowing
students to attend Trine, which awarded more than $31 million in institutional aid
Photo: College Football Hall of Fame Coach Lou Holtz gestures while speaking at Trine University's
16th annual Scholarship Gala. (Photo by Dean Orewiler)