A gift for engineering

$1 million gift goes to proposed IDEA building on Sexton campus

- April 12, 2011

Marjorie Lindsay poses with architectural sketches at the launch for the Bold Ambitions campaign. (Danny Abriel Photo)
Marjorie Lindsay poses with architectural sketches at the launch for the Bold Ambitions campaign. (Danny Abriel Photo)

T H E   D A L H O U S I E   D I F F E R E N C E

John W. Lindsay Sr. (BEng ’51 (NSTC); DEng ’91) came to Dalhousie following the Second World War. He and many other veterans could be seen on campus in their military clothing as they began a new chapter in their lives.

For the late Mr. Lindsay, this meant earning an engineering diploma at Dalhousie and a civil engineering degree at the Nova Scotia Technical College (NSTC). When he completed his studies he had more than a parchment.

“John graduated with a wife of three years, a six-month-old son and his engineering degree,” says Marjorie Lindsay with a laugh. They were married 58 years.  

Mr. Lindsay founded J.W. Lindsay Construction, whose projects included developing Dartmouth’s Burnside Industrial Park and building Purdy’s Wharf in Halifax. He was also active in his community, in particular, with Dalhousie, the IWK Foundation and The YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth.

“John had great principles,” Mrs. Lindsay says. “When my son gave his father’s eulogy he said, ‘My father was a man of his word and a handshake was a bond.’ I think that says a lot of my husband.”

Mr. Lindsay put great stock in education – and the opportunities it provided to learn in and outside the classroom. He also deeply appreciated his Dalhousie and NSTC experiences. Mrs. Lindsay says he was somebody who looked to the future, and wanted to “make Dalhousie engineering school the best that it can be.”

In his memory, the family gave $1 million in 2008 towards a new engineering building, the IDEA building for Sexton campus, with the intent that “other students could profit by the education that my husband had,” says Mrs. Lindsay, who also spoke at the March 29, 2011, public launch of Dalhousie’s capital campaign.

When asked what her husband would think of the gift, Mrs. Lindsay replies: “John was a very humble man. He wouldn’t do it for the recognition. He would do it because it came from his heart.”

SEE: More than a great IDEA


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