Engineering school officially inaugarated

By Connor Phillips


It’s no secret that the Shiley family has been good to this school. They have donated countless dollars to build buildings and create scholarships for students to learn and succeed. Their most recent donation was in the form of the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering. The Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering celebrated its inauguration in the Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice on Sept. 26. Despite the USD engineering program being nationally recognized, it was not a dedicated school until now.

Tawni Paradise, a senior engineering student, was a guest speaker at the inaugural event who spoke to the importance of the event.

“The university begins to become recognized by other schools as a big engineering school,” said Paradise. “The curriculum begins to drift away from the core curriculum and focuses more on the classes that engineers need to graduate.”

She went on to add that she also hopes USD keeps its appeal by not increasing class size and keeping our small-school feel, as it is a big draw for a lot of students.

Other speakers included Chell A. Roberts, the founding dean of the school, Connor Lind, a senior engineering student, Darlene Marcos Shiley, the major donor supporting the investment of the engineering school and President Mary E. Lyons.

Roberts’ background is in mechanical engineering and has been working to improve undergraduate engineering education programs throughout the country. His goal here is to build the best undergraduate engineering school in the country and even the world. To do this he plans to teach students about engineering but also about living a “reflective life and thinking about the things they do.”

After Roberts had finished, he introduced the two student speakers who gave their insight into how excited they were for the new school despite being seniors. However, the speakers commented that they were looking forward to coming back and talking to the new generation of Torero engineers once the school was up and running.

This led to the main benefactor, Darlene Marcos Shiley, coming to the stage. She is the spouse of the late Donald P. Shiley, whose name stands on the Donald P. Shiley Center for Science and Technology. Mr. Shiley was a pioneer in the study of Biomedical Engineering “before people knew that’s what it was called.” Mrs. Shiley went on to say that this school was being made in order to spread her late husband’s legacy and to spread education to all those who searched for it.

Some may wonder why it is being called the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering. Mrs. Shiley explained that at her husband’s alma mater, the University of Portland, there was already a Shiley School of Engineering so she added on her maiden name as to not cause any confusion.

Once Mrs. Shiley had concluded, President Lyons was called up on stage to say a few words of her own about why this was such an important addition to the university. She started out by discussing the opening of the Shiley Center for Technology and Science in 2003 and all the students it has attracted. She also discussed how she hopes this new school of engineering will do the same thing for the school. In between these two larger donations, Mrs. Shiley has helped the university though other smaller donations. She also has created several scholarships for students to commit to their learning. Lyons explained that Mrs. Shiley has helped the university in both small and big ways.

With the new christening of the engineering school, Lyons expressed her hope that the legacy associated with the name Shiley will continue to grow as graduates of the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering enter the workforce and begin to address our region’s pressing needs.