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Donation honours first dean of engineering

By Michelle Osmond | May 1, 2006

Fortis Inc. is donating $100,000 to Memorial's Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science in recognition of the contributions Dr. Angus Bruneau has made to that company. Dr. Bruneau started at the faculty in the 1960s and was given the task of developing the co-operative engineering program, a program that the faculty has continued to build on and one in which more than 800 undergraduate students continue to flourish each year.

"Dr. Bruneau came to Memorial in 1968 and developed our co-operative engineering degree program, a work-study innovation that has made our engineering programs among the best in Canada,” said Dr. Axel Meisen, president of Memorial University. “This honour bestowed by Fortis will recognize Dr. Bruneau's legacy at Memorial and in our community in a very tangible way for many years to come. The donation will help to revitalize the 215-seat lecture theatre in the Engineering Building – which is at the centre of the faculty – with new seating, lighting and state-of-the-art teaching technology.

“These generous improvements will particularly benefit the teaching of larger undergraduate classes, public lectures like the Speaking of Engineering series, and university and community events."

"This is a very fitting tribute to Dr. Bruneau, a remarkable leader who had the vision and determination to build a Faculty of Engineering during its earliest years,” added Dr. Ray Gosine, dean of Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Dr. Bruneau instilled a culture of innovation and excellence in engineering education and connection with our technical community, and he remains a very strong supporter of our activities."  

The $100,000 donation will cover a large portion of the $250,000 needed to completely remodel the main lecture theatre in the S. J. Carew Building. The donation announcement was recently made by the president and CEO of Fortis Inc., Stan Marshall.

Dr. Bruneau is retiring as chairman of the board of directors of Fortis Inc. at the corporation's annual meeting being held in St. John's. He has served as chairman of Fortis for the past 18 years. In recognition of the Fortis donation and Dr. Bruneau's service to Memorial University, particularly to the Faculty of Engineering, the lecture theatre will be named the Angus Bruneau Engineering Lecture Theatre.

Besides Dr. Bruneau's legacy within the Faculty of Engineering, he has also served as president and chief executive officer of Newfoundland Power as chairman of the board of Newfoundland Power, as CEO of Fortis and as a director on the boards of Maritime Electric and Fortis Properties.

Memorial's Faculty of Engineering is still one of the few mandatory co-op programs in Canada. Recently, all five of the engineering programs at Memorial (civil, computer, electrical, mechanical and ocean and naval architectural) have been granted a six-year accreditation, the maximum accreditation period possible for engineering degree programs in Canada, after a review by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board.