Civil engineering class of 1977 reunites on university campus

Paul Eyraud and Nihar BiswasAlumnus Paul Eyraud and professor Nihar Biswas look over grad pictures from the civil engineering Class of 1977.

Forty years after leaving campus as new graduates, civil engineering classmates of 1977 returned to the University of Windsor to reunite and reflect on where it all began.

“It’s just touching to have that connection again,” said UWindsor alumnus Stan Taylor, who organized the get-together.

Taylor, Max Fantuz, Paul Eyraud, Ray Chevalier, Dan Piescic, Spyros Govas and Brian Boyle met with handshakes and embraces at the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation (CEI) on April 22. During a tour of the CEI led by current faculty of civil and environmental engineering, the group of mostly retirees was pleasantly surprised to find Murray Temple and Jatinder Bewtra, two of their former professors, waiting for them in one of the labs.

“It makes us feel very happy to hear that they’ve had a good professional life,” said Dr. Bewtra, 82, who still works with engineering graduate students on campus. “That’s all we want to achieve.”

Taylor credited his 36-and-a-half-year career at the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) to a professor who recommended him for a summer job following graduation. Throughout his ERCA career, Taylor has worked in flood control, shoreline management, water quality and land use planning.

“It’s really thanks to the university that I got a foot in the door with my career,” he said.

Taylor recalls spending most of his time as a student in Vanier Hall and Essex Hall — the former engineering building.

“This facility is just so very impressive,” he said, after touring CEI. “The structures lab and hydraulics lab, for example, are just on a whole different scale in terms of size and the type of equipment. Our classrooms were pretty modest by comparison.”

Taylor said the day wouldn’t have been the same without the surprise visit from their professors: “To me that’s the highlight — seeing our old professors. It’s important to maintain these connections.”

See an album of images from the event on the UWindsor engineering Facebook page.