Remarks by President Ronald M. Berkman at Washkewicz College of Engineering Addition Groundbreaking



Today is the latest milestone for our College of Engineering. Established in 1923 as the Fenn College of Engineering, this is where the co-op education program was born and where countless thousands of engineers got their start.

In 2014, we changed the name to Washkewicz College of Engineering to show our deep appreciation for a transformational $10 million gift from Don and Pam Washkewicz and the Parker Hannifin Foundation.

This summer, we demolished the Chester Building which used to stand in this space and began construction of this new I00,000-square-foot, $60 million building that will become a new northern gateway to our campus.

This world-class facility will enhance the visibility and prominence of the College and serve as a highly effective recruitment tool, impressing prospective faculty and students alike.

The building will house multiple flexible research laboratories, teaching laboratories, simulation labs for computer modeling, student collaboration spaces, a large conference room, general classrooms and office space.

It also will house our Parker Hannifin Human Motion and Control lab where CSU and Parker researchers are working together on smart prosthetics with the potential for helping paralyzed people and others who need assistive technology. And our Dan T. Moore MakerSpace where students can transform ideas into reality using state-of-the-art technology.

We have many to thank for making this building possible -- the state of Ohio, trustee Dan Moore, the estate of Frederick H. Ray, and most of all, Don and Pam Washkewicz and the Parker Hannifin Foundation.

Don and Pam are with us today, as is Parker Chairman and CEO Thomas L. Williams. Dan Moore and other members of our Board of Trustees and Foundation Board are here. Let’s welcome them all.

At Cleveland State, we take great pride in our partnerships. And our long-time partnership with Parker Hannifin is an outstanding example of how institutions can work together for the mutual benefit of each other and for a better-prepared work force of tomorrow.

Parker has consistently supported CSU’s vision for the future and our commitment to making engaged learning opportunities available to students whose careers will be vital to Northeast Ohio’s future growth and prosperity.

From a Motion and Control Laboratory to a Human Motion and Control lab . . . from an endowed professorship, scholarships, lab equipment and advanced technology to a new Administration Center, renovation of a building for our College of Graduate Studies and renovation of the Allen Theatre for our arts campus . . . Parker has shown its strong belief in CSU and in the students who are the next generation of engineers.

Parker also regularly recruits and hires graduates; through the years, hundreds of Cleveland State alumni have worked for the company across the United States.

And although he’s retired from Parker, Don Washkewicz has not retired from serving his alma mater. He is the co-chair of ENGAGE: The Campaign for Cleveland State University.

We thank Don and the entire Parker team for everything they have done to help our College of Engineering realize its fullest potential for serving our community and educating future generations of engineering students. And we look forward to continuing the partnership under Tom Williams’ leadership.

Thanks again for joining us on this milestone day.