Students enrolled in Wheeling Jesuit University’s engineering science degree have a brand new space with cutting edge technology, thanks to a bequest from alumnus Stanley P. Marchlenski.
A Wheeling native and a member of WJU’s class of 1959, Marchlenski was an engineer at the Newark Air Force Base and an avid inventor with a number of patented inventions. He died in 2013, leaving more than $400,000 of funding for “scientific purposes” at his beloved alma mater.
Also displayed brightly on the third floor of Donahue Hall is a memorial for Marchlenski. Marked with a plaque honoring his life, a mural surrounds the center area of the floor, with drawings of his inventions and a telescope. The area was dedicated on Nov. 13.
“Stanley’s gift to Wheeling Jesuit helps us provide students with the same tools in the classroom and laboratories that they will be using once they begin their careers. Stanley was a true inventor and we hope that his gift and memorial may inspire students to develop their own inventions one day,” said Rev. James Fleming, S.J., WJU president.
Thanks to Marchlenski’s gift, a new engineering lab, located on the ground floor of the National Technology Transfer Center is now equipped with new laptops, software and instruments, as well as seven National Instrument Elvis breadboards – a piece of equipment essential for laboratory experiments.
“The demand for engineers remains high, and we can see that by the number of students interested in the program. With Mr. Marchlenski’s gift, we are able to stay ahead of the game and invest in the future of our students and the engineering program at Wheeling Jesuit,” said Dr. Peter Ehni, chair of Wheeling Jesuit’s Physics Department.
Ehni noted that the engineering lab’s spacious new home leaves room for expansion as the program’s enrollment grows. “There was very little remodeling needed in the space. All the wiring was here – we just needed to get things situated. Down the hall from the labs, we have a classroom and two faculty offices that will soon be set up. We are very excited to call this area our new hub for engineering students.”
Since its launch in the fall of 2013, WJU’s engineering science degree hasenrolled more than 40 students. Ehni notes that civil and environmental engineers remain a hot job, especially in large metro areas.
In addition to purchases for the engineering lab, new probes and equipment was upgraded in WJU’s Chemistry labs, plus a $16,000 spectrometer is now in use thanks to Marchlenski. New work stations for student research in biology also were installed.