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Celebrating 45 Years of Civil Engineering at UMass Lowell

More than 2,500 Awarded Degrees Over Years

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Prof. Don Leitch traces the history of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

By Edwin L. Aguirre

This year marks the 45th anniversary of UMass Lowell’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. The department has awarded approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate degrees since it was founded in 1969 by Prof. Allan T. Gifford, who served as its first chairman.

To celebrate the milestone, a special networking reception and banquet was held April 26 at the University’s Tsongas Center. The event took place during the 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) New England Student Conference hosted by UMass Lowell.

“Our friends, alumni, students and current and emeriti faculty and staff learned about the history and future plans for the department,” says Prof. Clifford Bruell, the current chair.

The program also highlighted the department’s two new funds — the Civil Engineering Discretionary Endowment Fund created by Prof. John Ting, emeritus dean of the Francis College of Engineering and now Vice Provost for Enrollments, and the Don Leitch Civil Engineering Concrete Canoe and Student Activities Discretionary Endowment Fund established by alumni and colleagues in honor of the longtime faculty member.