Engineering eStudio celebrates official opening

Elbert C. Ray, the donor who made the eStudio possible, addresses a group of current UK engineering students before the dedication ceremony began on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. Photo by James Holt

By Melissa Patrick

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More than 50 faculty, students, staff and guests attended the formal dedication of the Elbert C. Ray eStudio in the Raymond Student Commons of the Ralph G. Anderson building on Wednesday.

The dedication honored Elbert C. Ray for his contribution to the creation of the eStudio.

The eStudio is a studio that offers free tutoring in written, oral, visual and digital communication skills to students in the College of Engineering.

John Walz, dean of the college, opened the ceremony with praise for the talent and intelligence of the engineering students.

Walz said he now wants to ensure students can take what is in their heads and communicate it.

“Communication is the Number 1 limitation of students as they graduate,” Walz said. “I believe eStudio will help them improve their communication skills.”

Walz introduced Ray as a 1957 UK civil engineering graduate and owner of Ray Consultants. Walz expressed his appreciation to Ray for his donation to the eStudio.

Ray opened his remarks with appreciation for UK and the solid foundation it provided to him in his career.

“I am eternally grateful for the education that came from this school,” Ray said.

Ray also spoke of the sense of home he feels in Lexington and for the UK College of Engineering.

“I am a Wildcat,” Ray said.

Derek Paulsen, commissioner of planning, preservation and development, spoke about the importance of communication skills in the real world.

He commended the College of Engineering not only for producing highly qualified engineering graduates, but also working to create graduates ready for the workplace.

“The written and verbal skills needed to be successful are just as important as engineering skills,” Paulsen said.

Paulsen added that how well you communicate with others will determine how far you will go in the workplace, and creating this eStudio is an important step to help engineering students excel with their communication skills.

Janet Eldred, eStudio director, told the story of when she approached Ray with the vision to create the eStudio.

Eldred thought she would need to persuade Ray, but was pleased to find that Ray did not need convincing. He recognized the need for improved communication skills for engineers and got on board with the project.

Leeann Gottuso, civil engineering senior, and David Blanford, chemical engineering junior, represented the engineering students and closed with a “thank you” to Ray.

The ceremony officially ended with a ribbon cutting and tours of the studio.