LARAMIE — Philanthropists and entrepreneurs Mick and Susie McMurry have contributed a $6 million leadership gift toward the University of Wyoming's Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center.
The gift was announced at a special luncheon yesterday.
Coming through the McMurry Foundation, the gift will support the McMurry Family UW Legacy Hall and the Grand Atrium in the Gateway Center. It is the second multimillion-dollar gift received in the last five weeks for this project — the first was a historic $10 million commitment from Marian H. Rochelle to name the Gateway Center.
"The last 10 or 12 years, this university has been completely transitioned and rebuilt," Mick McMurry said. "We're proud of being part of it. Thanks to the energy production and energy development that Wyoming is so good at, we have $700 million or more in new facilities that's all paid for. There are not too many universities in America that can make that statement."
The combined giving of the McMurry and Rochelle families has now surpassed an extraordinary $37 million, making them the two largest UW private supporters in the institution's 126-year history.
"The McMurry family has once again stepped up to support a major initiative of UW," said UW President Tom Buchanan.
Surrounded by a dramatic three-story wall of windows, the McMurry Family Grand Atrium will welcome visitors as UW's front door, functioning as the Gateway Center's central hub. With its wide-open, welcoming aesthetics and prominent university displays and exhibits, it will serve as a gathering place and event space for students, alumni, prospective employers, industry leaders and all of UW's other internal and external constituencies.
The McMurry Family UW Legacy Hall will be the new building's most visited space, creating an interactive experience for visitors of the university's history and traditions. It will tell the story of the University of Wyoming through flexible visuals including video and digital displays.
"The lifestyle that the world enjoys is all because of hydrocarbons and coal" said Mick McMurry, whose entrepreneurial lifestyle definitely hinges on them. "Like it or not, we all depend upon those. We can't live our standard of living without them."
Within these spaces, the impact of Wyoming's energy industry in advancing Wyoming and UW will be celebrated in a permanent exhibition. The McMurry family has played a pioneering role in the public-private partnership between the state and its university and the energy industry — a vital collaboration that ensures the economic future of Wyoming.
The 60,000-plus-square-foot Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center will be funded completely through private support. Construction is scheduled to begin in late spring 2013, with the facility planned to open in the fall of 2014.
The facility will be a multi-use location with a state-of-the-art technological infrastructure, meeting rooms and event spaces.
The facility is being designed by Cheyenne-based Pappas & Pappas Architects, P.C., and DLR Group, an integrated design firm with offices across the United States. The national branding firm Advent, LLC, whose high-profile projects include University of Southern California, University of Texas and Texas Tech, will design exhibit and museum spaces in the center. The construction manager at risk is Wyoming- and Colorado-based Haselden Construction.
To learn more about the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center and to see renderings of the building, click here
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