Andrew G. Kirk

Message from Interim Dean Kirk

Fund drives serve many purposes. The dollars they raise are critically important in improving the quality of education that we provide to our students, but in addition, campaign giving is a powerful means of building a spirit of community to link the past, present and future at the Faculty of Engineering.

This less-talked-about aspect of fundraising is an integral part of our Faculty’s advancement program. It is based on the concept of strength in numbers – the conviction that much more can be accomplished in the decades ahead if everyone joins forces to work for common goals.

I am proud to report that the Engineering Faculty portion of Campaign McGill has been a tremendous success on both fronts. Our engineering, architecture and urban planning alumni joined with industry, parents and friends to raise $86-million, 22 per cent more than our initial Campaign goal of $70.5 million. In terms of building relationships, the bonds that underlie those figures are incalculable.

I am reminded of the oft-repeated historical fact that 66 institutions in the Western world have enjoyed a continuously visible identity since the mid-1500s. They include the Parliaments of Iceland and the Isle of Man, the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and 60 or more universities. Although this indicates that universities clearly have a potential for longevity, no one should make the mistake of concluding that they are immortal or invulnerable. They are not.

If universities have existed for centuries, it is because successive generations of scholars and students have nurtured them well. That is certainly true for our Faculty. From its very beginnings, visionary philanthropists have helped McGill Engineering to play an important role in helping to build our nation’s industrial capacity and economic growth. They carried us through Canada’s industrial revolution, through the eras of steam, water power and electricity, to the computer age and now, into new and evolving fields such as nanotechnology and biotechnology.

Our just ended Campaign is the latest stepping stone in this ongoing process of giving and receiving as the backdrop for growth and achievement. The Faculty of Engineering is truly blessed to have such a remarkable community of engineers, architects and urban planners who choose to involve themselves in our mission, and I want to express my sincere appreciation to all our benefactors – corporate, individual and family – for providing the support that plays so key a role in helping our students and professors to excel.

Andrew G. Kirk
Interim Dean
Faculty of Engineering