Engineering Class of '50

Engineering Class of '50 McGill University

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McGill Reporter
November 7, 2002 - Volume 35 Number 05
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Teaching Supplement

Engineering Class of '50

Photo Ceremonial opening of the Class of '50 classroom
PHOTO: Claudio Calligaris

The Engineering Class of '50 wanted to give a little something to the university that gave them so much. Being hands-on types of guys, they wanted to embrace modern technology in something tangible. A meeting with Dean of Engineering John Gruzleski, clarified their goal - to fund an Intelligent Classroom in the McConnell Engineering building, to contribute to the teaching of their field . As '50 classmate Don MacCandlish says, "This met our needs as a class to leave some tracks in the sand, in a way that engineers could visualize."

The Class of '50 raised $280,000 for tool. The avant-garde technology is a nice way to commemorate engineers who started their careers when virtual reality was a far-fetched dream. MacCandlish puts the Class of '50 into context:

"Of this group, 80 percent were veterans, having served in the Army, Air Force or Navy in the Great War. The other 20 percent to this day referred to as the 'young guys'…were too young to have served.

"A review of the annual "Old McGill" shows classmates who were born in 1908. The Wright Brothers first motorized flight was 1905. It was not uncommon for veterans to be entering McGill in their late 20s. Some married and with children. To the Vets, another two years in Barracks at Dawson College was less than appealing. To the 'young guys' it presented the opportunity to develop without constant parental scrutiny.

"Although educated in the age of the slide rule we are sufficiently aware of current tehnology to recognize that we want to be associated with the learning centre. Even if only remembered by ourselves, it is that facility that will represent our Engineering Class of '50."

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