Umbrellas popped up as a sudden downpour crashed the invitation-only groundbreaking ceremony for a new BYU Engineering Building on Monday, enhancing the upbeat remarks that officially launched BYU’s newest building project.
“The future of engineering at BYU is very bright, said Alan Parkinson, dean of the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering and Technology.” His observation followed speeches and the traditional photo op with campus leaders and specially prepared shovels.
For the past three years, BYU has been anticipating May 9 as the day it could finally break ground on an $80 million building that has been in preview and fundraising stages for several years.
“It was a great moment. And a great time to say, ‘Wow we actually did it,'” Parkinson said.
Throughout the ceremony the speakers, King Husein, chair of the volunteer fundraising committee, and BYU President Kevin J Worthen, spoke about the building as a miracle and a consecrated effort.
“We witnessed in a significant way the hand of the Lord in this work,” Husein said.
President Worthen echoed that sentiment: “I want to bear my witness that we have seen miracles happen here and we will continue to see miracle happen here.”
BYU representatives visited the top engineering schools in the country in order to plan the most beneficial components to include in the new building for our engineering students.
The building will have many windows that bring in natural light, open and flexible teaching spaces, spaces to exhibit and showcase engineering, large research communities, a central building commons and dedicated space and resources for projects.
The college of engineering and technology’s mission statement says it
exists “To conduct creative work of consequence that contributes to solving the world’s problems and advances engineering and technology disciplines. To be an influence for good in the world.” President Worthen said he believes that as students actively take advantages of the new skills and opportunities this building will bring, they will be able to influence and change the world.
Parkinson said he wants current and future students “to know that engineering and technology at BYU has a very bright future. There are lots of opportunities here. We have wonderful students, terrific faculty, and now we’re going to have state of the art facilities.”
Donation for this building have come from more than 18,000 alumni and other supporters. Other contributions have been made by the College of Life Sciences, the Department of Continuing Education and BYU Print and Mail.
“There really is nothing like that that I’m aware of at any other college or university in the world, where people would come forward in a consecrated effort and say, ‘We want to move along the overall work by contributing to this specific work from which we may never directly benefit,'” President Worthen said after acknowledging the generous donations form other colleges on campus, especially the College of Life Sciences.
Parkinson said donations from these BYU related organizations came at an opportune time and created the momentum needed to keep the engineering project going, and to even attract other donors.
“There were some people waiting on the sidelines, and when they saw that we were actually going to make it, they jumped in,” Parkinson stated.
The new engineering building is scheduled to be completed in time for the beginning of the new school year in the fall of 2018.