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Western University Be Extraordinary The Campaign For Western

Western ushers in a new era of environmental sustainability

by Karmen Dowling | November 30, 2009

Western ushers in a new era of environmental sustainability
Western’s Campaign Chair, Geoff Beattie (left), recognized lead donors Christian Lassonde and Kelly Meighen at the public launch of the University’s $500-million campaign. The launch took place at the official opening of Western’s first “green” building, the Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion on October 3, 2009.

The new Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion will provide a living lab where students forge the next generation of solutions for a sustainable future. This first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building at Western, officially opened its doors during Homecoming celebrations in October.

The $22-million, 45,000 square-foot building in the Faculty of Engineering houses research on green technologies, processes and materials. The building itself features advanced sustainable construction technologies and methodologies. Western President Amit Chakma said the university’s new state-of-the-art teaching
and research facility will be a benefit not only to engineering students, but the entire campus and beyond.

“It will no doubt be the birthplace of many new ideas, discoveries and innovations, advancing our notion of a cleaner planet and a green place to live,” said Chakma.

A unique area of the building to be studied will be the green roof, which is covered with seven species of drought-resistant sedum, a hardy garden plant. The soil and plants insulate the building for sound, along with increasing efficiency with cooling and heating throughout the year. A wind turbine and solar panels are also located on the roof to generate electricity for the building.

The Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion is named for the late mother to Engineering alumnus Christian Lassonde (BESc’98). The Lassonde Family Foundation donated $5 million to support the building project.

The T.R. Meighen Family Foundation also supported this important building project with a gift of $1 million. An atrium in the pavilion is named in honour of Richard Dillon, who became the first Dean of Engineering at Western in 1960 and was also the first Deputy Minister of Energy in Ontario’s history. Dillon is the late father of
alumna and member of the Board of Governors, Kelly Meighen (BA’71).

Both lead donors were recognized at the opening of the new engineering building, which was a perfect setting for Campaign Chair, Geoff Beattie (LLB’84), to officially launch the public phase of Western’s current $500-million campaign.

Beattie noted he hopes to inspire those influenced by the university, whether they are alumni or members of the community, to give back to the institution.

“At the end of the day nothing is going to make people feel better than being involved in a project that will make a difference in the school and the community,” said Beattie.

This article appeared in the Fall 2009 edition of Impact Western
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