The Great Wall of Thanks
On Saturday October 25th, the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy showed off the new Capital Campaign Donor Wall.
If you built it, the saying goes, they will come. On Saturday October 25th, the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy showed off its newest handbuilt creation, the Capital Campaign Donor Wall, and people came indeed - the people whose generosity gave the award-winning educational experience the ability to build the Elings Center for Engineering Education on the Dos Pueblos High campus.
Sandy Seale, DPEA Foundation president, proudly noted that all the metal panels on the wall were handmade by students and staff in the DPEA’s own machine shop. DPEA founder and director Amir Abo-Shaeer addressed the crowd of familiar faces. “This entire project is entirely due to altruism, to many people contributing to make a greater whole,” said Abo-Shaeer. “It is humbling to us to be the stewards of these altruistic gestures of the community to keep this whole program going.”
Virgil Elings, the major donor after whom the DPEA building is named, added, “This idea of project-based learning that is happening here is really a big deal. It’s a lot like life, and so it’s great to see it working so well here at DPEA. I look forward to seeing how they can keep the energy going.”
To that end, Seale noted with a smile that some empty spaces remain on the Donor Wall for future supporters. Already, though, numerous local companies, foundations, and individuals are represented, demonstrating the wide support for the ideals of the DPEA.
One of the earliest contributors to the project was The Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara, which gave a major capital gift for the Elings Center. “To see the success of this program, it’s phenomenal,” said Parm Williams of the Women’s Fund. “We’re probably as proud of this gift as we are of almost any other gift, to see how it’s grown. A day like this is awesome, it really gives me a lump in my throat.”
A recent alum and UC Berkeley freshman, 2014 grad Anthony Blair, expressed the kind of optimism created by a DPEA education. Looking at the wall that he helped build while a student last year, he said, “I'm just trying to figure out where on the wall my million-dollar donation will go someday!”