Having a UBC Faculty Alumni event?

Friends of Walter Gage team members Butch Braidwood and Gary Wong attended Old Red New Red on January 19 2017.  ORNR is the annual Engineering Alumni event sponsored by the Applied Science Faculty Alumni Relations office. It takes place in the Engineering Student Centre during EUS E-Week festivities. Students generously volunteer their time to co-host and proudly display their Engineering Ball models.

Gary Wong gave a brief introduction on the book project to 150+ alumni. Grads were asked to drop by the display table to see the wall posters, read printed stories, share a story, and pick up a bookmark to remind them to add their story to the database.

Many New Red grads could easily connect the name Walter Gage to the student residences but knew little or nothing of his 50+ years on campus. It was an ideal opportunity for them to hear a few stories about this incredible man. They also learned why the area where the display was set up is named the Walter Gage Commons – a tribute to a kind and generous friend of Engineers. New Red that didn’t have a story of their own took a bookmark and promised to ask their parents and relatives if and how Walter Gage impacted them.

For Old Red, the posters and printed stories brought back fond memories about Walter Gage. We heard stories about a grandparent who was in Walter Gage’s math class in Victoria, a branch of UBC back then. One grad told us how he paid it forward by helping blind students with their education. He decided to make audio recordings of books using a reel tape recorder and submit them to the Crane Library. He let Dean Gage know about his volunteer work and received a warm reply.

To some Walter was a fatherly figure who didn’t mince his words. A student in his first year on campus was banned from a mandatory class for complaining loudly. The Dean of Interfaculty and Student Affairs showed no sympathy for his bad manners and made it clear that an apology was in order. It was a hard lesson but one he said served him well in his career.

If you have an upcoming Alumni event in the Lower Mainland and would like the Friends of Walter Gage to make a presentation, please let us know (email: alumni@apsc.ubc.ca). We’d be happy to attend.