Students of Tomorrow
A Legacy of Excellence at Wentworth
Production Technology Engineering ’61:
Much has changed about the world we live in since 1936—but for one family, the legacy of excellence they began that year continues to this day.
Norman Boilard (Production Technology Engineering '61) and his granddaughter Brittany Boilard (Architecture '11) followed in Elphege Boilard's (Machine Construction and Tool Design '36) footsteps when they chose Wentworth Institute of Technology as the launchpad for their careers—and though all three have pursued very different majors and jobs, they have two important things in common: a commitment to excellence, and a strong work ethic that drives all they do.
Norman remembers having a real love for science and math growing up, which is why it seemed like a natural fit for him to move into production engineering tech when he finished high school, as it allowed him to put both passions to work… but more than that, it seemed like a natural fit to head to Wentworth. His hard-working father had developed the skills he'd used to support Norman's family there, and Norman wanted the same kind of secure future for himself.
When Elphege had gone there, 25 years earlier, he'd take the train in from Nashua, NH, every single day to learn his trade. Norman had less of a journey to the campus for his classes, but he took the industrial engineering skills he developed at Wentworth to a whole new level—the skies!—as a Weather Observer for the Air Force.
And Norman believes they're still reaching new heights: "Wentworth has always been the right place for students who wanted to get a good job and make a place for themselves in this world, but now there's a whole new level of academic achievement possible for them. They're still career-focused, but with the new courses and new technology, they're doing work we'd never even dreamed of."
Norman sees a big future ahead for his granddaughter, too: "Brittany is dedicated, sharp, and confident—we're incredibly proud of her. She understands what it takes to be successful in this world, and she's doing what it takes to make it. She's a real reflection of my father and of me in her natural talents, too—and that's why Wentworth was the perfect place for her to go."
And she might not be the last to go there, if Norman has anything to say about it: "I've got some smart grandkids headed for graduation—and I know Wentworth would give them what they need to succeed."
Brittany often talks to her grandfather about how much has changed since he and her great-grandfather attended Wentworth—but she didn't actually know either one had enrolled there until she'd already put it on her list of top colleges!
"They had the right programs and the right location, so I was excited to apply… but once I heard about our family's legacy there, it seemed almost like fate for me to attend."
A childhood passion for design and architecture led her to pursue her Bachelor's of Science in Architecture, but after graduating in 2011, she launched right into the Master's of Construction Management program, via part-time night classes, and plans to work as a project manager in future.
Neither of these advanced degrees would have been available to Elphege or Norman—but new programs are not the only big evolution Wentworth has seen in the last 75 years. As Brittany points out: "Women weren't even able to enroll when they were pursuing their educations—and now I'm on my second degree here."
One thing both Norman and Brittany appreciate about Wentworth is the way the school has given them real skills to take out into the work force: "I've been able to develop great student-teacher relationships in classes of less than 15 students, which has prepared me well for my co-op assignments. I knew what I was doing the first day I arrived, and was ready to work. That's part of why I believe Wentworth is very different from the typical college or university."
"Wentworth requires real know-how and in-field experience to complete a degree. That's why graduates of Wentworth leave more prepared for the field than the average college student."
And for the Boilard family, there's no such thing as average.