Wes Campbell gives back – to build the future

For Wes Campbell (BEng’63, LLB’66, LLD’07), president of Campbell Comeau Engineering Limited, it’s simple: “Without Dalhousie, I wouldn’t have the career I have today.”

“That’s why I feel such a strong responsibility to give back.”

And with his gift to the new IDEA Project – which includes two new buildings as the centrepiece of a revitalized Sexton Campus – Campbell is doing just that.

Building for growth & connection

Campbell began his journey at a time when aspiring Nova Scotia engineers would first earn a three-year diploma at places like Acadia, St. F.X. or, in his case, Dalhousie. They’d then enrol at the Nova Scotia Technical College (later the Technical University of Nova Scotia or TUNS) for a final, intensive two years.

Later, as vice-chair of the TUNS board, Campbell would help lead the 1997 merger with Dalhousie.

Today, engineering is Dalhousie’s fastest-growing faculty. Enrollment has doubled in the past six years alone, straining capacity to the point where students are taking classes at a nearby cinema.

No wonder Campbell, who established his company in 1967, is excited about the new IDEA Project. “The Sexton Campus desperately needs refreshing. Some of the buildings date from my days as a student.”

The new buildings’ design will promote interdisciplinary collaboration between engineering, architecture and planning. “It’s how it should be,” he says. “In firms such as mine, all three professions work together, everyday.”

Campbell also likes how the new building’s inviting, street-level aesthetic will help connect engineering students and faculty to the broader community, especially with the new auditorium available as a public meeting space.

“For too long, engineering was a closed shop.”

Saying yes to the future

And Campbell’s advice to fellow engineering alumni? “Remember where you got your education and support the institution that helped make you who you are.”

For Campbell, who also holds his LLB from Dalhousie, the IDEA Project is more than an investment in Dalhousie. “It’s an investment in our province, our youth and our collective future.”

“I’ve no problem saying yes to that.”