Rooney And Shah Slated To Speak At Trine Commencement Ceremonies
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Dan Rooney Lt. Col. Dan Rooney // Trine University

ANGOLA - Rooney and Shah are slated to address Trine University graduates.

Dan Rooney Lt. Col. Dan Rooney, PGA professional and fighter pilot who now leads efforts to assist families of disabled or deceased service members and first responders, will share his insights on leadership and purpose with Trine University graduates during the morning Commencement ceremony on May 4.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in the Keith E. Busse/Steel Dynamics Inc. Athletics and Recreation Center (ARC), honoring graduates from Trine University degree programs in Angola and Fort Wayne.

The university will present Rooney with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the ceremony.

Achieving big dreams

The son of a college geography professor who insisted his children travel the world and dream big, Rooney told his father at age 12 he was going to be a golf professional and a fighter pilot.

He started first on the golf path, playing as a walk-on at Kansas University, eventually earning a scholarship and making the cut at the NCAA Championships with his KU teammates. He qualified for the 100th playing of the US Amateur at New Port Country Club, besting, among others, Tiger Woods in a round that year.

After graduating with a degree in geography and a master’s in sports psychology, the young golfer sweated out life on the mini tours for almost two years, chasing his sports dream. That pursuit ended with $228 in the bank and the conviction to chase his next dream.

He joined the United States Air Force to become an F16 fighter pilot.

He flew the T37 and T38 in undergraduate pilot training before moving to Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona. He would graduate from F16 fighter jet training and receive the “Spirit of Attack” as the top gun graduate, heading to Iraq 60 days later.

He completed three tours of duty as an F16 pilot and received countless medals, including the Air Medal and Distinguished Service Medal.

New purpose

On a late-night commercial flight in June 2006 as a passenger, Rooney found a new purpose.

When the pilot requested everyone remain on board as a sign of respect as the remains of Corp. Brock Bucklin were taken from the belly of the aircraft and handed over to the fallen soldier’s family, the cost of freedom and patriotism hit Rooney like never before.

That moment gave birth to Folds of Honor and Patriot Golf Days. The foundation has raised and provided more than 52,000 scholarships worth about $244 million to families of fallen or disabled US military service members, and more recently, first responders.

In addition, Rooney is a best-selling author whose works include “Fly Into The Wind.” He has founded and constructed two golf courses including The Patriot, an Oklahoma course dedicated to patriotism, faith and country that opened on Memorial Day in 2010. He collaborated with Jack Nicklaus on American Dunes Golf Course in Grand Haven, Michigan, which commemorates the birthplace of Folds of Honor.

He has spoken to thousands of corporations and community groups, offering his inspirational and motivational message on leadership and “synchronicity,” a term for chance with a purpose.

Afternoon Commencement

This will be the first time Trine University has hosted two spring Commencement ceremonies to accommodate the continued growth in the number of graduates.

Vipul Shah, a 1996 Trine University chemical engineering graduate who is now a highly regarded wealth advisor for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, will present the keynote address to Trine’s hybrid and online students at the 4 p.m. Commencement ceremony, also held in the ARC.

Link to original Trine Article: HERE


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