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Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

The Future: MacLean Gift Spurs Expansion

Barry MacLean with students in the building that bears his name
Devoted: Barry MacLean, center, with students in the the building that bears his name, wants all Dartmouth students to benefit from engineering. Photograph by Jared Leeds.

Thayer’s plans for a major expansion recently received a $25 million boost from Barry MacLean ’60 Th’61. The largest gift in Thayer’s 149-year history, MacLean’s donation includes $15 million toward the design and construction of an additional engineering building and a $10 million challenge grant for creating endowed professorships at Thayer.

“I believe deeply in the school’s mission and how the skills gained at Thayer can help prepare all students for their lives,” says MacLean. “I firmly believe every Dartmouth undergraduate should experience Thayer.”

MacLean, chairman and CEO of the MacLean-Fogg manufacturing company, has been a Thayer Overseer for 42 years, was a Dartmouth Trustee for 10 years, and has a long history of supporting Thayer. He and his wife, Mary Ann, were the major donors for Thayer’s 2006 addition, the MacLean Engineering Sciences Center.

MacLean’s latest gift serves as a cornerstone for Thayer’s planned expansion, with its goal of offering every Dartmouth undergraduate the opportunity to explore technology in preparation for leadership in an increasingly technology-dependent world. The expansion will meet growing student demand for engineering; AB majors and BE graduates have nearly doubled in the last 15 years. Thayer plans to double the size of its faculty, expanding expertise in energy and engineering in medicine and increasing entrepreneurship. Dartmouth and Thayer are also exploring relocating the Department of Computer Science to Thayer’s new building to facilitate novel collaborations in research and teaching.

The proposed expansion is contingent upon private gifts to cover the estimated cost of at least $200 million. MacLean is chairing the fundraising effort, working with Thayer Board of Overseers Chair Terry McGuire Th’82 and a committee of volunteers.

“People and place are the defining aspects of Thayer’s unique community and approach to education,” says Thayer Dean Joseph J. Helble. “Barry’s investment in these two areas—and his invitation to others to join him—promises a transformation of our standing and impact around the world.”

“Engineering is recognized as a solution to many of the world’s challenges, such as hunger, space exploration, or extending life,” says MacLean. “All those issues have engineering aspects, and students today are focused on trying to make a better world. Seeing young people going farther than you ever expected is really rewarding, and helping them on their way is a great joy to me.”

Categories: The Great Hall, The Future

Tags: alumni, expansion, philanthropy

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