Thursday, April 26, 2018

Make it Real

Michael B. Dowdy, Chief Development Officer
I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering in 1968. OMG – 50 years ago. As a 50 year alumni, I was afforded the opportunity to visit the new (now twenty years old) engineering school and the outgoing alumni director arranged a private tour.  Diane, thank you so much.   

When I attended, the school’s tools of trade were slide rules, triangles, three sided draftsman's rulers, and lettering guides. To punctuate the 50 years, just outside the engineering school's Welcome Center was a display case of “Engineering Artifacts”. These items looked like cave-man relics from a far-gone era. Talk about making a girl feel old?

Engineering Artifacts
During my tour, I was shown electronic/circuit prototype labs, research 3D Printers, drone workshops, and extensive computer labs. The school now located in two buildings, soon to be three, includes one building dedicated to engineering and another dedicated to medical engineering. There are 5 academic departments.

My meeting was with the Chief Development Officer. We talked almost an hour as I shared stories from the "far-gone era" and he told me about the wonderful projects, and supporters the school now has. 

While I was in the engineering school there no female instructors/professors and only one woman in all of my engineering classes. And, as I readily admitted that day, she was not I. He had been duly briefed and said he understood. That was all that was said on that as peers discussed many other subjects. The time at the engineering school added much to my alumni weekend. 

However what encouraged me the most that day was the fact that the Chair in Biomedical Engineering and Dean, VCU School of Engineering is a woman; Barbara D. Boyan, Ph D. Plus, 48% of the 271 graduate students are female. We have "come along way" in the field of technology, medical engineering, and the advancement of human interactions. The fact that I was afforded the opportunity to tour, meet and be respected, meant much.  Thank you all.  

As the VCU School of engineering motto states – “Engineering the Future to Make it Real.” Well said...

Stay turned - Friend's Friday - Dinner at the Museum.

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