Virginia Centennial Celebration – Serving the Commonwealth Since 1922
In 1922, a group of Virginia Civil Engineers obtained approval from the American Society of Civil Engineers to establish the Virginia Section. The Objective, the “Advancement of engineering knowledge and practice, the cultivation of friendly relations with all engineers, the maintenance of high professional standards, and cooperation with other societies, with a view of promoting the general welfare of the engineering profession and the American Society of Civil Engineers.” On April 4, 1922, the constitution of the Virginia Section was approved by the Society in Cleveland Ohio. Therefore, in 2022, the Virginia Section will be celebrating one-hundred years of serving the civil engineering needs of the profession and the public in the pursuit of this Objective.
Knowing how long a great celebration takes a Centennial Committee was established two years ago and has been meeting monthly as the Section plans how to honor the pioneers of civil engineering that have worked tirelessly over the last hundred years supporting Virginia. Since, at onetime the Section comprised of all the geographical boundaries in the Commonwealth, to honor this historic support for all Virginia civil engineers, a decision was made to include all Virginia civil engineering accomplishments in the Celebration. Therefore, we have made the Virginia counites in the National Capital Section a part of our Centennial.
One of the first actions of the Committee was to develop the logo shown above, but that was just the beginning. The Committee has actions under way to develop a Centennial Pamphlet that can be used as a handout when members are presenting the benefits of pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) to schools and career fairs across the state. Also, under development, an interactive map showing ASCE Landmarks and other significant civil engineering projects for use by teachers and parents to show future engineers our accomplishments and what we do as civil engineers.
The key event in our Celebration will be our Centennial Gala. We plan to host the Gala at the Omni Richmond on Saturday, March 26, 2022. The 2022 ASCE President to be our keynote speaker at the Gala. The Gala will consist of a Celebration dinner, the keynote speaker, and awards given to ASCE Members, supporting companies, outstanding civil engineers in the public, private, and education sectors. This will be a once in a hundred-year event, so planning is already well underway, so mark your calendar for March 26, 2022. You do not want to miss this opportunity to honor our profession while we celebrate and socialize with other civil engineers and supporters from across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
As stated, the logo was one of our first actions, and drawing upon the Committee members, and approved by the entire Section, we believe the Fink Deck Truss Bridge, an ASCE Landmark, in Lynchburg, Virginia serves as an excellent example of historic civil engineering and therefore is a true representation for our Centennial Celebration. Below are photographs of the Fink Deck Truss Bridge in Lynchburg’s Riverside Park.
As an early Centennial action, we have installed a new plaque in coordination with Nelson County Parks and Recreation at the Crozet Tunnel. This plaque was unveiled in September 2020, but due to COVID-19, attendance was limited to Virginia State Officials only. Therefore, the Virginia Section will be holding our own dedication ceremony this year when our members from across the state can attend. As shown in the photographs below the plaque is mounted on a pedestal that symbolizes the tunnel.
Other events being planned for the Centennial Celebration include a boat tour of the bridges and other civil engineering projects in the Virginia Tidewater area, providing an opportunity for our members to bring their next generation of civil engineers and family to learn how our profession has served the public for the last hundred years. We will also be hosting tours at other ASCE landmarks across the state using our interactive map that will have historical photos and write ups of the projects. In addition, historical information and photos collected for the Centennial will be posted on the Virginia Section’s website.
We are just a few months away from our Centennial Celebration Year, so we are well underway with planning and have already completed several actions, thanks to the dedication of the Committee Members, Supporters, and the Virginia Section Board. We are looking forward to our Celebration, and this once in a hundred-year opportunity to not only recognize those civil engineers that have gone before us but to also inspire the next generation of civil engineers through our STEM Centennial Pamphlet, interactive map, and Centennial tours.