The UH Cullen College of Engineering celebrated 70+ years of a university legacy at the Goodbye Y Party last week. Approximately 650 alumni, students, faculty and staff attended the reception in honor of a structure that has, for decades, served as an integral part of engineering student life at UH.
A sudden afternoon downpour forced the festivities to move inside to the Engineering Commons, where guests enjoyed barbecue provided by alum Charles Beyer (BSCE ’72, MSCE ’77), music from the UH Pep Band, and catching up with long-time engineering colleagues and friends.
The Y building, formerly known as the Engineering Laboratory, housed classrooms, labs and student organization offices for generations of Engineering Coogs. Built in the 1940s, the structure served as an airplane hangar during World War II and was intended to be temporary. Instead, it became a home base for engineering students, and an enduring symbol that bridged the past and future of Cullen College.
To many, the Y building’s plain façade is a testament to the engineering principles of functionality, efficiency, and simplicity. Despite its deterioration, the Y building remained open until a few years ago, when it became widely acknowledged that the structure should be demolished.
The building sits adjacent to the construction site of the University’s Classroom and Business Building, and this juxtaposition is a salient demonstration of the ongoing demand for new academic facilities and resources. Although there are no plans to replace the Y building, the space will be open for innovation to meet the evolving needs of future Cullen College students.