LONDON, ON, April 19 /CNW/ - An extraordinary "green building" will soon
rise on the campus of The University of Western Ontario and carry the name of
a woman who has left an indelible mark on engineering in Canada. Western today
celebrated a $5-million gift that will help build an engineering research
facility dedicated to investigating climate change and the environment.
The gift from the Lassonde Family Foundation, the largest ever to the
Faculty of Engineering, will support the construction of the facility -
Western's first-ever "green building". The family's gift honours the
extraordinary life and contributions of the late Dr. Claudette MacKay-Lassonde
who passed away in 2000. The four-storey building, which is expected to be
completed by summer 2009, will be named the Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion
in her honour and in recognition of the Lassonde family gift.
Among her many accomplishments, Dr. MacKay-Lassonde became the first
female president of the Association of Professional Engineers Ontario in 1986.
From 1987 to 1988, she was a member of the National Advisory Board on Science
and Technology. Active in promoting engineering as an attractive career for
women, she organized the first Canadian Convention of Women Engineers, founded
the organization Women in Science and Engineering, and was instrumental in
setting up the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation. Dr. MacKay-Lassonde
advocated for professionalism and humanism in Engineering throughout her
career and was recognized with seven honorary Doctorates of Engineering.
"This is a building that we anticipate will influence both the
architectural and research landscapes of Western and southwestern Ontario,"
said Western President Paul Davenport. "Today's lead gift comes in honour of
an incredible individual - a leader who exemplified the power of one
individual to create change."
The Lassonde family was represented at the Western celebration by Dr.
MacKay-Lassonde's husband, Pierre Lassonde, and their son Christian Lassonde,
who is a graduate of Western's Faculty of Engineering.
"My mother believed in our responsibility to promote change that could
build a better world," said Christian Lassonde. "At the core of this, she
believed engineers have a responsibility to create or transform discoveries to
bring about a better life for people. She believed the role of engineers
should be as much based on humanism and social responsibility as in
technology. This new building, named in her memory, is a perfect tribute to
The Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion will house research on green
technologies, processes and materials and, at the same time, the building
itself will feature the most advanced environmentally sustainable construction
technologies and methodologies. It will be used as an active teaching tool and
will be "monitored" in its performance.
"This building will become a living lab that will enhance Western's
student experience," said Western's Dean of Engineering, Franco Berruti. "The
Lassonde family gift is remarkably generous, and especially as it is given in
the name of someone who has so strongly contributed to the promotion of women
The Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion will also be a showcase for all
things green. Western will, in the coming months, invite proposals from
companies interested in providing green construction materials, furnishings
and other environment-friendly effects for the building.
The Pavilion will be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) certified building on Western's campus. Currently, there
are only 14 LEED certified buildings in Ontario.
For further information:
For further information: Ann Hutchison, Director of Media Relations at
Western at (519) 661-2111 ext. 85468