Memorial University of Newfoundland has received the largest single donation from living individuals in its history – a generous gift that offers life-changing opportunities for students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
Memorial President Axel Meisen announced today that Drs. Angus and Jean Bruneau have donated $1,030,643 to create the Angus Bruneau Student Leadership and Innovation Fund in Engineering (or Angus Bruneau Student LIFE Program).
“It is often through extra curricular and voluntary service activities that students discover, develop and demonstrate their leadership abilities to the great benefit of the organizations with which they associate, their peers, and the community at large,” said Dr. Angus Bruneau, who served as the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science’s first dean from 1969 until 1974.
Student leaders in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science welcomed the announcement, noting it will have a significant impact for students. Jonas Roberts, president of the Memorial chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a student-led organization that works to eliminate extreme poverty, talked about the wide variety of initiatives his organization has undertaken, and the skills he has developed as a result.
"For me, the opportunity to take part in so many worthwhile activities has been invaluable, and the leadership training and personal development I've experienced will serve me throughout my life."
Delia Warren, president of the Engineering Undergraduate Society, also spoke of her organization’s diverse activities, which include high school outreach, sporting and social events, charity fundraisers and connecting students with industry. “One of the challenges we have in all our activities is finding sufficient funds,” she acknowledged.
“For every initiative we undertake to benefit students or support a charity, we first have to find the money to make it happen. This new program will make so many more student initiatives possible.”
The program, which will be known as the Angus Bruneau Student LIFE Program, will recognize student leadership and innovation in three categories:
• In the Community Service category, initiatives will be funded that involve innovative approaches to significant local or international challenges such as international development or gender diversity within the engineering profession, and thereby enhance the engagement of engineers in the community.
• In the category of Engineering Education and Enhancement of the Education Experience, areas of particular interest will include such initiatives as national or international design competitions, school outreach initiatives, programs that foster academic success, technological entrepreneurship, and student-designed seminars, debates and leadership development forums.
• The Research category supports graduate student initiatives involving engineering research and its transfer to industry. This could include business start-up activities by graduate students, research project fairs, travel funding for paper presentations, and support for graduate students involved in national or international competitions.
Student leadership in developing innovative projects will be the primary focus of these awards, which can range up to $10,000 each.
In accepting this generous donation, Dr. Meisen said: “At Memorial University, our primary focus is on students. Fostering their leadership skills, as the program we are announcing today does, will benefit not just them, but our province and our world.”
He also commended the donors for their forward-thinking and generous support, given through a donation of securities.
“Dr. Angus Bruneau and Dr. Jean Bruneau have, for many years, shown a strong interest and commitment to Memorial University and its students, as well as to our province. The level of the gift we are announcing today demonstrates their support once again and in an outstanding manner.”
Dr. Ray Gosine, dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, also acknowledged the importance of the fund. “Increasingly, our students are contributing to academic and community life in innovative ways, and the benefits are wide-ranging. This new program will allow for even greater opportunities for them to gain experience and leadership skills. It will also help us attract more top-level students to our faculty.”
In summing up the value of their unprecedented gift today, Dr. Angus Bruneau said: “To the extent that the Student LIFE program encourages and enables more innovative service and development programs in the faculty and creates the opportunity for more students to participate, we shall be very pleased.”
About Dr. Angus and Dr. Jean Bruneau
The Bruneau family’s long relationship with Memorial began in 1968, when Dr. Angus Bruneau established the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and served as its first dean. During his tenure, he led the development of co-operative engineering programs – an innovation offered then at only one other Canadian university. He is also credited with creating the Centre for Cold Ocean Resources Engineering (C-CORE), which he chaired for 10 years.
In October 2006, the newly-renovated lecture theatre in the S. J. Carew Building on Memorial’s St. John’s campus was renamed the Angus Bruneau Engineering Lecture Theatre. The renovations were funded by a $100,000 donation from Fortis, Inc. (matched by the university) to honour the contributions made by Dr. Bruneau to both Fortis, where he served for 18 years as chairman of the board, and to Memorial.
Dr. Jean Bruneau has served as an active volunteer with numerous non-profit and community organizations, including the YM/YWCA, Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, the Law Society of Newfoundland, and Memorial’s Botanical Garden, to name just a few. In 1998, Memorial University bestowed an honorary doctor of laws on her, in recognition of her consistent commitment in public arenas for the good of society.
Throughout the years, the Bruneaus have also shared their time with Memorial through volunteer and advisory capacities, and generously supported student scholarships. This most recent gift has created an endowment that will significantly enhance the experience of students at Memorial.
About MemorialUniversity of Newfoundland
Founded in 1925 as a memorial to Newfoundland’s war dead, Memorial University College was elevated to degree-granting status in 1949 as Memorial University of Newfoundland.
With more than 18,000 students, Memorial University is the largest university in Atlantic Canada. It provides excellent undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in virtually all disciplines. The university's many interdisciplinary programs offer opportunities for experiential learning, ranging from on-campus employment to work terms around the world.
Many teaching and research activities reflect our mid-North Atlantic locations; these unique settings and our cultural heritage have led to the creation of highly-regarded academic programs and specialized facilities in areas such as music, linguistics, folklore and human genetics, as well as earth sciences, cold-ocean engineering, rural health care and archaeology.
About the Faculty of Engineering
Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science prides itself on being a leader in engineering education, competitive in research and well-connected with industry and the engineering profession. Through teaching, research and outreach, the faculty plays a critical role in the economic development of the province, and graduates from our programs hold key positions in the major industrial developments in our province.
A growing number of our recent graduates are leading emerging high-technology companies and hold important positions in national and international industries and governments, contributing to the university's global impact.
The faculty’s undergraduate co-op programs were among the first in Canada and are highly respected for educating qualified, enterprising young engineers with both a strong academic and professional background. In 2007-08, over 900 undergraduate students were enrolled in the faculty.
Graduate programs, which currently serve about 275 students at both the master's and doctoral levels, are offered in civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, environmental engineering, ocean and naval architectural engineering, oil and gas engineering.
The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science undertakes a wealth of research and development activities, and this work is focused on the technological needs of our society.