BYU's New Engineering Building: Ready, Set, Go!
The $80 million needed to reach the fundraising goal for the long-awaited new engineering building is finally in the bank, said BYU president Kevin J Worthen to university supporters during the October meetings of the President’s Leadership Council.
When this building is complete, we believe it will positively benefit students, faculty, and ultimately the world,” said President Worthen. “Thanks to you and other generous alumni and friends, we’re now in a position to move forward. With the money in hand, we will go to the BYU Board of Trustees for final approval, and we hope the groundbreaking will occur in the first quarter of 2016.”
Regarding the new building and those who have provided funding for its construction, Dean Alan Parkinson of the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology says: “We are pleased and profoundly grateful that, with the support of so many, the fundraising goal for the building has been reached.
“Personally, and on behalf of the entire college community, I thank those who have donated. Alumni and friends of the college have stepped up in major ways, and other BYU colleges and departments have generously helped. It has been a process that has involved many blessings, and we are excited for the future.”
Thanks to You
Over the past three years donations from nearly 18,000 alumni and supporters have been directed to the building. Construction will be funded entirely by donations.
King Husein, an alumnus and stalwart supporter of the university, led, with fellow PLC member Jack Wheatley, the committee of fundraising volunteers, who encouraged alumni and others to contribute toward the building’s construction. Husein jokingly committed to stay at the soon-to-be-construction site and ask passersby for donations until the money was raised.
Husein says of the building and its purpose: “Classroom learning is fine and textbook learning is fine, but we need to change the way we are teaching and learning. The way I learned as a student is almost obsolete and certainly not as effective as it needs to be in today’s world.
“When I visited top engineering schools across the country with a group from BYU, I returned with a sense of urgency and a firm commitment to provide our students with a facility that will prepare them to be leaders in their fields and to compete globally. BYU is a light to the world, and engineers educated here shine brightly. It has been a genuine pleasure to be a part of this effort, and I’m excited to see this dream become a reality.”
A Space to Dream
Dean Parkinson was also part of the group that toured top engineering schools around the country. He was impressed, and he returned to Provo with an expanded understanding of what engineering education could be at BYU.
A vital element of Parkinson’s and Husein’s vision was a new building - a spacious edifice designed to enhance learning and foster exceptional talent. Now in the final planning stages, the building will include spaces that promote faculty-student collaboration, provide for teambased projects, facilitate cross-discipline interaction, enhance research, and promote industry partnerships.
The BYU Board of Trustees approved fundraising for the new building in 2012. The next fall Cecil O. Samuelson, then president of BYU, expressed why this project was a timely need. He said, “We believe engineering is not only a discipline in which the general need is greater than ever before, but it is also an area in which BYU can excel and contribute at an even higher level in the future than is possible currently.”