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Bill Trask, known to the WPI community as Tuna, you have made a positive difference in the lives of countless WPI alumni through your tireless work as a mentor, trusted advisor, and friend.
You joined WPI in 1958 as director of placement, to help students find success and fulfillment after graduation. During your tenure, most graduating seniors used the services of your office each year, without a doubt drawn there by your unending enthusiasm and support for our aspirations.
During your lengthy career, you also served as a member of the freshman orientation program, admissions counselor, and assistant and then associate dean of student affairs. You were the director of the former Techniquest, one of the first summer programs in the country to introduce secondary school students to a week of college life. For years, you were the "traffic manager" at WPI graduations, planning when people marched and where they sat. You served on the board of the former campus pub, and you were a mentor to student resident advisors. For more than 20 years, you ran the popular United Way campus auction, which took in a record $6,500 for charity in 1990. One of the most sought-after items at these auctions was an infamously colorful Trask tie.
In the early 1960s, you were tapped by Skull and remain and active member of and mentor to the organization. You are a member of Tech Old Timers and have served as secretary of that group since 2000.
You graduated from Middlebury College in 1952 and have remained actively involved in the life of your alma mater. You are an avid fundraisier, an active member of your fraternity, Delta Epsilon, and you and your wife, Ruth, chaired your 25th, 50th, and 55th reunions. Your involvement in Middlebury is a reflection of your commitment to enriching the college experience for all students.
This is not the first time the university has honored your unyielding commitment to the WPI community. In 1983, to celebrate your 25th year at WPI, several students organized a roast in your honor. Upon your official retirement in 1992, two wooden benches were installed and a birch tree was planted in your honor in front of Boynton Hall.
Bill "Tuna" Trask, even in your retirement, you remain a fixture in the WPI community, continuing to offer your wise counsel and your friendship to students and alumni. We are pleased to recognize you today with the WPI Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award.
October 8, 2010