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Donation covers nearly half of team’s yearly expenses

A man kneels next to the center of the canoe mold.

Concrete Canoe team president Aaron Begley shows part of the canoe mold. The team is currently finalizing concrete design for competition next semester.

The University of Missouri Concrete Canoe team is one of the MU Civil Engineering Department’s American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student competition teams with the goal to provide civil engineering students the opportunity to gain hands-on practical experience and leadership skills by working with concrete design and project management.

This year, team members are able to spend a little more time on the canoe and a little less on fundraising as they received a $2,000 donation from the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Team president Aaron Begley said the team sent out fundraising letters earlier in the semester to individuals and agencies associated with the team and civil engineering. One of the letters reached MoDOT Director Dave Nichols, an MU civil engineering alumnus, and Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger, also an MU civil engineering alumnus.

“Dave came into my office with the letter and said, ‘Hey, see if you can do anything for these guys,’” Hassinger said.

Begley said the donation is the largest the team has received this year.

“The money goes to construction materials, travel expenses and registration for competitions,” Begley said. “We don’t ask for anything from our members, so this money helps a lot.”

Nichols personally delivered the check during a presentation in civil engineering instructor Charlie Nemmers’ Infrastructure Project Development class in early October. The team has begun testing concrete samples. Begley said they will finish the new design next semester.

The team competes annually in the ASCE Mid Continent Student Conference. The 2014 event will take place in April at Oklahoma State University.