Mural Dedicated to Dr. Clifford Sponsel

From left, Drs. Clifford Sponsel, Earl D. Brooks II and Juliette Cummins Sponsel during a recent ceremony to dedicate the Sponsel mural.

“Giving Back: From Birth through Education to the End of Life” reflects the life of Dr. Clifford W. Sponsel, a 1931 graduate of Tri-State College who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. Sponsel, who celebrated his 102 birthday in July, is credited with inventing the first in-car thermostat when he was employed by General Motors. The thermostat was sold to every car maker except Ford.

Consisting of 480 6-by-6-inch tiles, the artwork was designed by Sponsel’s wife, Dr. Juliette Cummins Sponsel, in the traditional seventh-century Spanish Cuerda Secca style.

The hand-glazed artwork in the Rick L. and Vicki L. James University Center honors the Sponsels, who reside in Santa Barbara, Calif.

The approximately 8-by-15-foot mural highlights the Sponsels’ passions, philanthropic efforts, endless devotion to volunteerism and their story.

“Our students and alumni can see the impact this institution had on one person – and the impact he made on so many lives for so many years,” Trine University president Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., said during the dedication.

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, click here , Trine operates a 450-acre main campus in Angola, Ind., and education resource centers throughout the state.


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