Raymond and Susan Bucy, together with a matching gift from the GE Foundation, have donated $100,000 to Missouri University of Science and Technology to establish an endowment for the university’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders.
Formed on campus in 2004, the Missouri S&T EWB chapter was the first of its kind in Missouri. Since then, the organization has made more than 20 trips, helping to provide sanitation and access to clean water for communities in four different developing countries.
Raymond Bucy says he had never traveled more than few hours away from his small hometown in northwest Missouri until he came to college in Rolla. Since then, he’s visited nearly a dozen countries and worked on everything from the Apollo program to energy-efficient engines, opportunities he credits to having a Missouri S&T degree.
When the Bucys returned to campus for his 50-year reunion, they were impressed by the work the EWB students were doing and decided to fund an endowment.
“The Missouri S&T EWB chapter provides good training for young engineering students by giving them the opportunity to test their skills in an unstructured program,” Bucy says.
“Plus it’s helpful to the communities they serve and is a great tool for building relationships between the United States and other countries. But most importantly, it gives them a background and a knowledge of the world that I don’t think they could get other way.”
Dr. Rick Stephenson, the chapter’s advisor and a professor of civil engineering at Missouri S&T, says the gift is the first step toward making the program sustainable. He would like to see the endowment eventually grow to $2 million, which would help the chapter pay for the materials and transportation used in their projects.
“EWB is clearly a life-changing experience for our students because they learn to use their skills and talents to save lives,” Stephenson says. “Students become both skilled technically and able to make decisions on the fly through EWB. They have to figure out how to complete tasks in a country thousands of miles away, in a culture they’re not familiar with and in a language they don’t speak.
“You can’t get that from a lecture in a classroom.”
Bucy earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T, then known as Missouri School of Mines, in 1958. He spent 35 years with GE Aircraft Engines, retiring in 1994 as general manager of the company’s Military Product Engines.