Civil engineering class of ‘77 reunites on university campus

civil engineering classmates of ‘77 shake hands with Dr. Jatinder Bewtra, their former professor, during a tour of campus.Civil engineering classmates of ‘77 shake hands with Dr. Jatinder Bewtra, their former professor, during a tour of the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation.

Forty years after leaving campus as new graduates, civil engineering classmates of ‘77 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, 2017. During a tour of CEI led by current civil and environmental engineering faculty, the group of mostly retirees was pleasantly surprised to find Dr. Murray Temple and Dr. 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 the start of his 36-and-a-half-year career at the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) to a university 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.”

The University of Windsor Alumni Association supported a dinner for the group after the tour.

Visit the UWindsor Engineering Facebook page to view a photo slideshow.