Company and alumni gifts fund tech savvy classroom
Mizzou Engineering held a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 12 for the Burns & McDonnell classroom, which, thanks to the company’s generosity, has become the most technologically advanced teaching space in the College of Engineering.
A $40,000 gift from the company made the upgrade of the classroom possible. Originally named for Burns & Mac after a fundraising effort among MU alumni employees of the firm, the additional gift allowed for the installation of two 63-inch plasma monitors, a large screen projection system as well as other enhancements to the classroom.
During his remarks at the event, Burns & Mac’s Energy Division President, Ray Kowalik, personally pledged an additional $25,000 to the project. A1985 civil engineering graduate, Kowalik spearheaded the original alumni fundraising efforts with the help of colleagues Andy McCaskill and Joji Calabro, MU civil engineering graduates in 1999 and 2004, respectively.
“A lot of people supported the efforts to raise money for the room,” said Kowalik. “We wanted a room that is on the leading edge of technology since that is what the engineering profession is based on. We all have fond memories of our time at Mizzou. None of us would be where we are without the great education we received from the College of Engineering.”
Additional improvements to the room include raising the floor to accommodate individual electrical outlets for laptop use, and modern modular furniture to allow students to break out and work in small groups. “The new equipment will allow remote feeds that can bring textbook solutions to life with on-screen demonstrations, “ said Marty Walker, the college’s director of administrative services.
“We are extremely grateful for Burns and Mac’s and Ray Kowalik’s investment to the learning environment at the College of Engineering, said Shawn Poore, engineering development officer. “We hope that other entities will follow their example.”
The Burns and McDonnell classroom, located in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, also offers a perfect setting for teleconferencing and is available for use by all departments.