During Homecoming Weekend 2005, the College of Engineering celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Bucknell Engineering Alumni Association (BEAA). More than 250 current and past members of the BEAA Board of Directors, alumni, and friends of the college attended the special event on Friday, September 30, 2005. The event's celebration began with poster presentations of 27 undergraduate research projects at the Third Annual Engineering Undergraduate Research Symposium. The symposium is designed to provide student researchers with an opportunity to exercise their presentation and networking skills in a manner similar to that found at a national-level conference.
Fifty years after its founding, the BEAA and its board of directors continue to provide the critical support through fulfilling their mission of promoting the general well being of the College of Engineering of Bucknell University by developing among alumni an active and enduring interest in the involvement in the affairs of the university.
Throughout its history, the BEAA has regularly evaluated its purpose and form relative to the needs of the College faculty, students, and alumni. Consequently, the BEAA has reinvented itself more than a half-dozen times, and as a result remains a vital resource to the College of Engineering. During the last 50 years, the BEAA has supported three directors of engineering and six Deans of Engineering, recognized countless students for academic excellence and more than a dozen of its own as Outstanding or Distinguished Alumni, and has engaged some 150 of its members on the association's board of directors. With this 50-year legacy, the BEAA is committed to continue to build on this success as it embarks on the organization's second half-century.
A Snapshot of the BEAA's History
The Beginning of the BEAA
1954 - Several alumni and trustees met with University President Merle Odgers to consider ways to improve engineering at Bucknell.
1955 - A committee was established for selecting a 32-person executive committee of engineering alumni.
1956 - The first meeting of the Executive Committee was held January 3 at the Engineers Club in NYC. The Bucknell Engineering Alumni Association was selected as the official name of the committee.
The Rest of the First Decade
1959 - The BEAA developed an Engineers Day program, which was first implemented as part of Engineers Week in 1960. The board focused on securing high-quality students, and alumni support for the University's Dual Development Fund.
1961 - The board established the Outstanding Senior Engineering Award to recognize the student in the senior class with the highest academic achievement in engineering.
The Second Decade
1966 - University trustee Claire Carlson '49 became the first woman elected as a director of the BEAA and president of the association. The Prospective Student Contact program was launched with the goal of having a BEAA member contact every student who inquired about engineering at Bucknell.
1968 - The board recognized a need to reach out to the general alumni population. BEAA liaisons were established for each alumni club and the Bucknell Alumni Association (BAA).
1971 - The establishment of an Engineering Fund was proposed (and ultimately established in 1973).
The Third Decade
1974 - The university agreed to budget $1,000 to support the activities of the BEAA.
1975 - In an effort to better connect with young alumni and make them aware of the BEAA, the association held a reception for graduating seniors at Commencement.
1981 - The BEAA developed a Distinguished Engineer in Residence program, bringing successful engineers to campus to work with students.
The Fourth Decade
1984 - The 30th anniversary of the BEAA was celebrated.
1993 - The board developed a new organizational structure consisting of the following committees: Centennial, Potential Student Calling, Spring Senior Luncheon, and Nominations.
The Fifth Decade
1999 - The board's reorganization evolved with the return of executive positions and the development of the ABET, Admissions, Affinity, Career Development, and Development Committees.
2000 - At Homecoming, the BEAA held an extremely successful pre-game tailgate which was the beginning of increasingly closer ties to the Bucknell Alumni Association (BAA). The BAA provided funding to offset the costs of the event with this financial support continuing today.
2001 - The first Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award was presented by the BEAA to Lauren Breakiron '52 at the Bucknell Engineering Today event, an event designed to promote the College and kick off a fundraising effort for the proposed new engineering building. The BEAA also sponsored the continuing Cocktails and Contraptions events during Reunion and Homecoming weekends.
2002 - The BEAA strengthened its relationships with the College of Engineering and also with the Office of Alumni, Parents, and Volunteers, Office of Admissions, and the Career Development Center. The BEAA and Career Development Center co-sponsored the first Engineering Career Networking Event. This successful event continues annually during National Engineers Week.
2003 - The BEAA implemented the Women in Engineering admissions program designed to increase the recruitment, yield, and retention of female engineering students. The BEAA co-sponsored the first Engineering Undergraduate Research Symposium. An Annual Report outlining the activities of the BEAA throughout the year was also initiated.
2004 - The BEAA became active with the Bucknell Clubs and co-sponsored two events in 2004. The first event was a tour of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge construction project in Alexandria, Va.; the second event included a tour of Hershey Park with a focus on the Storm Runner roller coaster in Hershey, Pa. An induction ceremony was implemented by the BEAA to welcome engineering juniors into the BEAA.
2005 - Bucknell University, the College of Engineering, and the BEAA celebrate the 50th anniversary of the BEAA. Engineering undergraduate students join the BEAA Board of Directors. The academic departments invite the BEAA to participate in a discipline-specific meeting with their faculty on an annual basis. The direct connection between the College faculty and students and the BEAA is established.
A Vision For Our Future
The BEAA's dedication and service are evidenced by their accomplishments over the past 50 years. With direct communication lines now in place between the BEAA and the College, the BEAA will actively listen to the faculty, staff, and students to learn ways to best promote the well being of the College of Engineering in to the next 50 years!
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