Thursday, July 23, 2009

Inaugural Alumni Dinner

This Spring CIV, GEO and MIN alumni spanning over 60 years attended our Inaugural Alumni Dinner. Over 100 alumni and 50 other guests helped us relive our Department's amazing past, celebrate our present and inspire some of the key developments coming in our near future.

Joining them at the tables were Professors, staff and several top students, who were honoured for strong academic or extra-curricular performance. Attendees enjoyed an incredible 5 course dinner, a chance to catch up with classmates, and an opportunity to forge new connections. Several local companies including Halsall Associates and Golder Associates also sponsored tables.

Despite being held on a dubious day - Friday, February 13th - the evening went off without a hitch.

As guests arrived, they had a chance to view historical photos of Survey Camp as well as a wonderful painting recently given to us by alumnus Ian Harrington (CIV5T8). As you can see in the photo, the vibrant colours and sharp attention to detail truly bring the history of Gull
Lake to life.

Once guests had a chance to mingle, fourth year students Marianne Touchie and Ekaterina Tzekova (CIV0T9) were invited to the stage to introduce the Promise to Future Generations to the alumni community. The "Promise," as it is called for short, is a voluntary commitment that is available to graduating students in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. It sets out
clear principles of environmental and social sustainability that are especially important for engineers given their unique power to create healthy societies. Developed and administered by students, the initiative attracted great support from those in attendance.

The evening was also an opportunity to celebrate our common history at Camp. After a brief speech by Brenda McCabe (CIV9T4) which outlined both the threats to and opportunities for camp, guests were invited to weigh in on camp’s meaning through stories, anecdotes, and ideas.

The alumni did not disappoint – from Orlando Martini’s hilarious story about a bear in the washroom to David Gray’s passionate speech on the need to save camp, it was clear that the spirit in our alumni community has not waned despite the passing of time.

Marta Eschedi (CIV7T6) and Steve Dennis (CIV9T9) underlined this fact, while John Starkey (MIN6T1) showed us that Mining alumni feel the same way.

As a result of the strong positive response we received on the idea of saving camp, we have formed a task force of dedicated alumni, faculty and staff who are currently putting together an exciting and innovative plan. It would not only see camp preserved for a generation, but
would make it a facility enjoyed year-round by students and alumni alike.

For the administrative staff planning the event, the strong alumni showing was taken as an indication that the CIV-GEO-MIN alumni community wants more opportunities to come together.

Our Department is unique - our alumni come from several historical backgrounds. Each has its own identity and culture, but all share a common bond: at camp, at Skule, and
in many other areas of the profession.

We hope you will join us for the Second Annual CIV-GEOMIN Alumni Dinner on Friday, February 26, 2010. We can’t wait to update you on our progress at camp and hear your
latest stories as well.

Look in the next Civilian or on our website for more details
on this, our great new tradition.

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