The beautiful building we are dedicating today already has a history, because its name links it to hundreds of associations with the past that carry us back to a winter night on February 9, 1885, when a small, rented building many blocks from here at 21 West Park Street opened its doors to the first students of the Newark Technical School, predecessor of today's NCE.
On that night, electric lights "that could be brightened or dimmed at will, and even moved around as the instructor wishes" thrilled the small crowd of visitors, who were told that they had been installed by wired from the United States Electric Lighting Co. at Plane and Orange Streets, a gift to the new school by Edward Weston.
It also has a recent history; for so great has been the College's need for its facilites that even before this dedication, the Lecture Hall you are now seeing was pressed into service for many of our 75th Anniversary events. This Lecture Hall, and the spacious Library and laboratory areas new Weston Hall contains, are therefore already a vital part of the growth of NCE, a growth which owes more to the Westons, father and son, that anyone can say.
We call the building new Weston Hall, because it stands on the same plot of land that from 1895 to 1958 contained the original Weston Hall, NCE's first wholly-owned building, erected through the efforts of the Newark Technical School's first director, Dr. Charles A. Colton, and a loyal board
of trustees of which Edward Weston was the first member.
Through the years the name of Weston has meant the same symbol of complete support to the College's administrators: to Dr. Allan R. Cullimore, who succeeded Dr. Colton, and to Dr. Robert W. Van Houten, who is president today.
Many colleges and universities in the United States have boards of trustees which meet once a year; some of them only every two years. NCE's board, since 1885, has met regularly every month of every year, except during summer recesses, and as a result has given a quality of interest and faithfulness to the proceedings which no one will ever be able to over-estimate in making this college great and strong.
Dr. Edward F. Weston, today's chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his father, Edward Weston, member of the first Board, have been, are and will be revered throughout all the years to come for having given so much of themselves to this institution. Their personal character, which has become an integral part of NCE's, is appropriately embodied in our 75th Anniversary theme: "Dedicated to Education in Engineering and Citizenship."
We welcome you to Newark College of Engineering to join with us on this happiest of occasions and to participate in this recognition of the influence of two great men who have given us the name for NCE's newest building, Weston Hall.