Alumni Life: Keepsakes

What did you save?

Balsa-wood Bridge

Balsa-wood model bridge.

A memento from Jan Metzger’s (BS ’81) time as an engineering student brings new meaning to the term “bridging the decades.”

“Forty years ago, I was paired up with my classmate Rob Burgess (BS ’81) for an EAS 101 class project that was an annual tradition for first-year students: building a miniature bridge that can withstand as much weight as possible. Our 18-inch balsa-wood bridge withstood a load of 405 pounds (1,134 times its own weight), surprising the professor and us! I kept the little bridge safely stored away, and when Rob and I recently got back together in our hometown of Niskayuna, N.Y., we brought it out to find it’s still in one piece after four decades.”

Share your memories.

Still holding on to a memento from your UB years? Tell us why, and attach a photo, in an email to