CASPER, Wyo. — The University of Wyoming is getting one of its largest donations ever: $10 million to build an entrance building for the campus.
University officials announced the gift from Marian Rochelle on Friday. The money will be used to build a Gateway Center on the corner of 22nd Street and Grand Avenue in Laramie, not far from War Memorial Stadium.
The 60,000-plus-square-foot facility will be named the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center.
“I did it to help the university,” Rochelle said in a media release, “to bring in more people, more students.”
University spokesman Chad Baldwin said the donation ties a $10 million gift in 2007 as the single biggest cash donation in UW history.
The facility will be a multi-use location with a state-of-the-art technological infrastructure, small and large meeting rooms, and public and social event spaces. It will be a place for prospective students and families to enter the university, for gatherings of current students, for alumni to arrive and celebrate the history and traditions of their alma mater, for friends to participate in the university’s programs and for corporations and organizations to interview and recruit UW students.
The center will also include museum-quality space to commemorate the history of UW with pictures and displays and exhibitions that honor the impact of UW on Wyoming, the renowned alumni and friends who have supported Wyoming’s university, and the noteworthy traditions of the institution.
The story of Wyoming’s energy will also be told through displays and interactive technology in tribute to Rochelle’s gift and to energy’s importance to the state.
Construction is scheduled to begin next spring and finish in 2014.
The Gateway Center will be funded completely through private support and UW Foundation reserve dollars and will be gifted to the university.
The center is being designed by Cheyenne-based Pappas & Pappas Architects, P.C., and DLR Group, an integrated design firm with offices across the U. S.
The national branding firm Advent, LLC — whose high-profile facilities are located at Southern Cal, Texas and Texas Tech — will design exhibit and museum spaces in the center.
The manager at risk is Wyoming- and Colorado-based Haselden Construction, which also oversaw construction of the UW Information Technology Center project.
Rochelle is the top donor in UW history with gifts totaling more than $18 million.
Baldwin said Bob Berry donated $10 million a few years ago for UW’s Wildlife Conservation Center.
The Gateway Center gift is Rochelle’s second major gift in 18 months. She gave $10.1 million to the Barrow Neurological Institute for the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation in Phoenix, which explores psychiatric and motor disorders.