University Honoring Donors After Historic Bequest, Unveiling BOND Lab

October 12, 2017

Ed Bond

Ed Bond (Photo by Kathleen Dooher)

Wentworth Institute of Technology will hold a double celebration October 13 to name the Department of Construction Management for the university’s largest benefactors—the late Myles and Eugenia Sweeney—and unveil the campus’ new BOND Virtual Design and Construction Lab.

The BOND Lab stands to impact more than 500 students and dozens of faculty members each year. The space will be shared with students and faculty from multiple majors, such as Civil Engineering and Architecture, and within the College of Professional and Continuing Education.

“When I think about this fantastic, new lab and BOND’s commitment to making it happen, I imagine a very bright future for Wentworth’s students,” said Mike Masterson, chair of the Board of Trustees.

BOND, described as the northeast’s premier building, civil, utility, and energy construction firm, is led by CEO Edward Bond Jr., a Wentworth trustee emeritus and key philanthropist.

The lab is a dedicated, interdisciplinary project and classroom space—one that is flexible, provides state of the art equipment, and brings student teams together in the field of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the built environment.

“The impact that the BOND Lab will have on the academic life of this institution is immeasurable,” said President Zorica Pantić.

Inside the lab, students will use advanced BIM technology in a digital network and virtually paperless environment, as they prepare for the complex design and construction challenges that they may face after graduating from Wentworth.

Eugenia Sweeney (left) and President Zorica PanticThe Sweeneys’ contributions to Wentworth include a recent bequest—the largest bequest in the Institute’s history—of between $9 million and $11 million. That gift will be distributed to create an endowed, merit-based scholarship fund for young women pursuing undergraduate engineering and construction management degrees, and to ensure that the Department of Construction Management can build faculty strength and resources for a new concentration in Real Estate Development. 

“We owe the Sweeneys a big debt of gratitude,” said President Pantić. “And I am very thankful for their support of the countless students and faculty members who will work and study here.”

Myles Sweeney was a Wentworth alumnus from the Class of 1929. He spent more than three decades at the John Manville Corp., becoming the firm’s president and developing new technology relating to sound isolation and reverberation control. During the 1940s, he helped build wind tunnels for NASA. 

Eugenia Sweeney (pictured above left with President Pantić) was a native of Milwaukee and retired physical therapist who earned a bachelor of science degree from Milwaukee-Downer College in 1951. In 2009, Wentworth awarded her an honorary doctorate for her unwavering devotion to the Institute.

In the mid-1990s, the Sweeneys donated the money that helped build the Huntington Avenue athletics field that has borne their names since its opening in 1996. In 2000, Eugenia Sweeney donated additional money to upgrade the field with a press box, concession stand, changing rooms, and other enhancements.

The Sweeney Nanotechnology Lab is named for her, as is the annual award for the female student-athlete at Wentworth who best combines athletic and academic excellence.

During the recent campaign for the Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons, Mrs. Sweeney made a gift to support the Myles and Eugenia Sweeney Pavilion at the entrance to Beatty Hall.

“These contributions demonstrate the important difference that philanthropy can make—helping to move Wentworth from exceptional to great,” said Paula S. Sakey, vice president for Institutional Advancement.

The first of the October 13 events will highlight specific features of the new BOND lab. A ribbon cutting will mark the dedication of the Myles and Eugenia Sweeney Department of Construction Management. In addition to President Pantić and other senior administrators and faculty members, speakers for the BOND unveiling and Sweeney dedication will include Andrea Fredericks and Samantha Webb, both students in the Construction Management program.

--Dennis Nealon

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