Skip to main content

Vox of Dartmouth, the College's newspaper for faculty and staff, ceased publication in February 2010. For current Dartmouth news and events, see:

· Dartmouth Now
· Periodicals
· Events Calendar

Thayer building begins

Published May 17, 2004; Category: ADMINISTRATION

Engineering Sciences Center construction enabled by gift

A gift from an alumnus and his wife will enable Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering, the nation's oldest professional school of engineering, to begin construction this summer on a new building that will house a suite of innovative design and laboratory facilities.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held May 8 at Cummings Hall.

Breaking ground
Breaking ground (from left): John W. Ballard '55 Tuck-Thayer '56, Chair, Thayer School Board of Overseers; Lewis M. Duncan '55A, Dean of the Thayer School; Mary Ann MacLean; Barry L. MacLean '60 Th '61; and President James Wright.

Barry MacLean, Dartmouth Class of 1960 and Thayer School of Engineering Class of 1961, and his wife, Mary Ann, have committed $15 million to name the new Engineering Sciences Center, which will adjoin Cummings Hall. MacLean is president and chief executive officer of MacLean-Fogg Company, a diversified company specializing in high-performance fastener and component manufacturing.

Designed by Koetter/Kim and Associates of Boston, the four-level, 64,300-square-foot MacLean Engineering Sciences Center responds to Thayer School's need for new space to accommodate its design-studio approach to engineering education. The centerpiece will be the innovative Thayer School Unified Project Laboratory, a comprehensive student design and fabrication facility. It will house on one level all engineering-project design, fabrication, and instructional laboratory facilities, including a state-of-the-art machine shop, computer-aided design stations, rapid prototyping and reverse engineering facilities, digital and analog electronics labs, materials and mechanical testing labs, and spaces for technical staff who support student use of these facilities.

"It brings me satisfaction to see the College prosper as one of the nation's select institutions. To sustain that, you need to reinvest," MacLean said. "Thayer School produces leaders. The curriculum is really about the discipline of solving problems - in this case engineering problems - but the method works anywhere and is an important foundation for conducting one's life."

In announcing the gift, Dartmouth President James Wright said, "Demand for scientific and technical leadership in our society is at an all-time high. MacLean Engineering Sciences Center will allow Thayer School to grow strategically to help meet this need, yet still maintain a size and scale that foster collaboration, community, and close student-faculty interaction, hallmarks of the Dartmouth learning environment."

Barry MacLean earned his A.B. degree in engineering sciences from Dartmouth in 1960 and his master's in mechanical engineering from Thayer School in 1961 before going to work for MacLean-Fogg, a diversified manufacturing company and global provider of automotive and truck components and devices for power and telephone utilities, in Mundelein, Ill.  MacLean became President and CEO of MacLean-Fogg Company in 1972. He has served on Thayer School's Board of Overseers since 1974 and was Chairman of the Board from 1982 to 1984. He served as a Dartmouth College Trustee from 1991 until 2001. He was named a Sylvanus Thayer Fellow in 1979 and received the Robert Fletcher Award from Thayer School in 1989 and an honorary master of arts degree from Dartmouth in 1991. He is a member and director of various businesses and professional organizations, including the Museum of Science and Industry, the University of Chicago Hospitals, the Art Institute of Chicago, Newberry Library, and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. In addition, he is chairman of the board of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and mayor of the Village of Mettawa.

Mary Ann MacLean is a Trustee of Union College and serves on the University of Chicago Visiting Committee to the Division of the Biological Sciences and the Pritzker School of Medicine, and on the boards of the Chicago Zoological Society, the Illinois State Museum, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and the Rassias Foundation at Dartmouth College. The couple has five children, three of whom are Dartmouth graduates.

Residents of Chicago, the MacLeans have generously supported Dartmouth, including endowments for two professorships and a fellowship fund at Thayer School, and an undergraduate scholarship in memory of Barry's brother John A. MacLean III, Class of 1955.  They also endowed the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, chosen by U.S. News and World Report as the best medical ethics program in the nation.

Along with facilities for computing and computer-related instruction, MacLean Engineering Sciences Center will feature conference rooms on every floor to foster teamwork among students, "the norm in high-performance, multidisciplinary engineering workplaces," said Thayer's dean, Lewis Duncan.

 "This facility will be the capstone of Thayer School's signature curricular philosophy," Duncan said. "For decades, the school has integrated into its course offerings a multidisciplinary focus, a design and project orientation, and an analytical methodology for problem solving. Barry and Mary Ann MacLean's generous gift will help take Thayer School to the next new level."

The building will address the needs of three groups in particular: undergraduates, the faculty, and Master of Engineering Management candidates. The number of undergraduates has grown steadily in the last 10 years; the number of MEM candidates is expected to double in the next 10. Thayer School anticipates 30 percent growth in the faculty over the next decade, mostly in the fields of biotechnology, biomedicine, computer and computational engineering, and engineering management.


Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 12/17/08