Statement as issued Friday by the university:
ANGOLA, Ind. – Trine University will invest more than $8 million in education and economic growth, officials announced in a press conference on Friday, May 4, on the school's main campus in Angola.
In the past year, Trine has acquired over $3.5 million in laboratory equipment and an over $5 million in commitments to support this initiative.
School administrators are hoping the City of Angola will invest an additional $2 million toward the effort. At the press conference, Angola Mayor Richard Hickman, said he will approach the city council at its May 7 meeting to propose the city allocating $2 million (in Major Moves funding) toward the partnership.
Trine will use the funding to establish a Materials Science Center of Excellence, supporting industry leaders such as Metal Technologies Inc. and building on the strong foundation of Trine's cast metals program, which is ranked as one of the top programs in North America by the Foundry Education Foundation. In addition, Trine plans to support plastics and packaging technology to better assist industry partners such as Rieke Packaging. Other plans include launching entrepreneurship and technology commercialization efforts within Trine's Ketner School of Business, offering undergraduate and graduate level biomedical engineering degrees.
"We need to think about the future of this community and how we can support our local entrepreneurs," Hickman said. "Through this partnership, we will promote collaboration between Angola-based companies and Trine University. We must think about the vitality of the Angola community and the opportunities we will create for generations to come."
Trine president Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., said he appreciates Hickman's "bold vision." He added that Trine is pursuing this economic development initiative so that "we (retain) some of the best and brightest talent here in our region versus exporting it outside the region, the state or to other parts of the country."
"We have had numerous conversations about economic development and job growth in our community and region over the past two years and our willingness to share university resources," Brooks said.
In closing, Brooks said the university would not make such a monumental investment without the assurance of success and a long-lasting benefits for the community and the university.
"Today I congratulate the mayor and city council for their bold vision and leadership to move forward with this initiative, which is a proven, successful model that is working in other communities around the country," Brooks said.
Trine University, an internationally recognized, private, co-educational, residential institution, offers associate, baccalaureate, and master degrees in programs to students in engineering, mathematics, science, informatics, business, teacher education, communication, criminal justice, golf management, social sciences, and various other fields of study. Trine is a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and offers 21 varsity sports. Its golf program includes the university-owned 18-hole championship Zollner Golf Course. Founded in 1884 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org), Trine operates a 450-acre main campus in Angola, Ind., and education resource centers throughout the state.