Building named for graduate

McGill's future chemical engineering and materials sciences building--currently under construction--now has a name. The research facility, which is expected to boast state-of-the-art laboratories, will be known as the M.H. Wong Building in memory of Man Hung (Jimmy) Wong, a graduate of the School of Architecture who died recently.

Wong's family and friends have donated $8 million towards the construction of the facility--the first new building to be erected on McGill's downtown campus in a decade.

The Wong building will house McGill researchers from the Faculties of Engineering and Science who have expertise in plastics, ceramics and composite materials.

The donations reflect the Hong Kong-based Wong's long-standing affection for his alma mater. Wong, who went on to become a building developer after graduating in 1981, was active on the board of the McGill Society of Hong Kong.

Faculty in the School of Architecture remember Wong as an affable hard worker who excelled in design courses and was prone to "all-nighters."

"Jimmy took pride in his design projects and he had an extraordinary record in that area," recalls Professor Derek Drummond, director of the School of Architecture.

Another Hong Kong graduate recently donated $1.6 million to the M.H. Wong Building. Requesting anonymity, the donor, a McGill engineering graduate from the Class of '59, has asked that a laboratory plaque carrying the inscription "In gratitude to Professor J.B. Phillips" be erected in the building. The late Professor Phillips was a widely respected McGill engineering professor.

Estimated at a total cost of approximately $34 million, the construction of the M.H. Wong building has also received financial support from both the federal and provincial governments.

Commenting on the $8 million donation from Wong's family and friends, Principal Bernard Shapiro said, "Generations of students will benefit from the Wongs' vision and generosity, and the University as a whole will draw strength from the synergy of research teams based in the new facility."

In announcing the new name for the building at a recent meeting of the University's Board of Governors, Shapiro added that he was pleased that the names of McGill's buildings were starting to better reflect the cultural diversity of the University's community.