Fortis Inc. pays tribute to Dr. Angus Bruneau through continued support of teaching technology and modern learning facilities at Memorial
Today Memorial announced a generous $200,000 donation from Fortis Inc. used to modernize the primary lecture theatre in the Engineering building on Memorial University’s St. John’s campus.
The occasion was marked by a ceremony that included a tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Angus Bruneau, founding dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and founder of Fortis Inc.
To recognize this generous donation from Fortis Inc., the theatre has been renamed the Fortis Angus Bruneau Lecture Theatre. This morning’s event was attended by a number of special guests, including executives and other representatives from Fortis, students, faculty and senior university officials.
“Dr. Bruneau was the founder of two great success stories in Newfoundland and Labrador, Fortis Inc. and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial University,” said Barry Perry, president and CEO, Fortis Inc. “He was a gentleman who was incredibly charitable through his support of Memorial and community organizations in the province. He was also very giving of his time, always showing interest in the ideas and career paths of the future leaders at Fortis. This donation by Fortis to create a great learning environment for students at Memorial is our way of recognizing Dr. Bruneau’s extraordinary life.”
Renovations included additional seating capacity, improved accessibility and updated teaching and learning technology, which will support the current and future growth of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
This is the second donation from Fortis Inc. for this initiative. In 2006 the company donated $100,000 to mark Dr. Bruneau’s retirement as chair of the board of directors of Fortis Inc. The theatre was named in honour of Dr. Bruneau and the funds were used to remodel the space, as the theatre had changed very little since its inauguration with the building’s opening in 1974.
“This gift from Fortis highlights the crucial role that industry partners play in our success, both as a university and a province,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University. “We sincerely appreciate the ongoing support from Fortis and value the special relationship and history that we share through the incredible legacy of Dr. Bruneau. His commitment to the company, our university and Newfoundland and Labrador will endure.”
Dr. Bruneau, who passed away earlier this year, was a giant presence at Memorial and throughout the province through his work as the founding dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the founder of Fortis Inc. and as an inspiring philanthropist.
Dr. Bruneau became the founding dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial University in 1969. He introduced one of the first co-operative education programs in engineering in the country and created C-CORE, today a world-renowned research organization in remote sensing, ice engineering and geotechnical engineering. After leaving Memorial, Dr. Bruneau founded Fortis Inc. in 1987 and served as its president and CEO from 1987-96 and chairman of the board of directors from 1998-2006. Fortis Inc. began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 14, 2016. Today, it is one of the top 15 power utilities in North America, with over CAD$48 billion in assets, 3.2 million customers and 2016 revenue of $6.8 billion.
“We are very grateful to Fortis for their generous donation,” said Dr. Greg Naterer, dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “The upgrades to the main engineering lecture theatre will enhance teaching and learning through improved seating and technology. The theatre is also the venue for public lectures and other outreach activities, which support our community engagement initiatives. Dr. Bruneau has been a great personal inspiration to me since I became dean of engineering here at Memorial and to many others and we are honoured to have our signature lecture theatre in his name.”
This gift from Fortis reflects the philanthropic conviction of Dr. Bruneau and his wife, Dr. Jean Bruneau, who have personally supported many charitable causes and community projects during their lifetime. Their remarkable philanthropy has included two separate donations of more than $1 million to Memorial University. In 2007 the Angus Bruneau Student Leadership and Innovation Fund in Engineering was created to provide life-changing opportunities to students in Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. In 2013 the Bruneaus established the Bruneau Centre for Excellence in Choral Music at the School of Music to promote research and community projects focused on the impact that choral singing can have on individuals and communities.