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Sullivan Family Student Center Dedicated Friday

January 14, 2011
Former U.S. Ambassador and Wyoming Governor Mike Sullivan speaks at the dedication of the Sullivan Family Student Center in the UW College of Education Friday.

A state-of-the-art student center located within the College of Education named in honor of former U.S. Ambassador and Wyoming Gov. Mike Sullivan, his wife Jane, and the Sullivan family was formally dedicated Friday at the University of Wyoming.

"The Sullivan family has been a good friend of the University of Wyoming for many years, and I'm very pleased that this new student center honors their many contributions," says UW President Tom Buchanan. "It reflects well upon the commitment of the Sullivans to UW and the education of our students. And it is one of the most visually appealing locations we have on campus. Our students will enjoy it tremendously."

The Sullivan Family Student Center will serve as a hub for student activities and is a further renovation and improvement to the UW College of Education Annex that was remodeled in recent years in order to accommodate the development of technologically enhanced model classrooms. The center was created by a gift from Mickey and Jeanne Klein of Austin, Texas,  who are friends of UW and of the Sullivans. This gift was doubled by the Wyoming Legislature's state matching program.

"The College of Education is delighted to dedicate this unique space for education students to gather in honor of the Sullivan family," says Dean Kay Persichitte. "The Sullivan Family Student Center is a one-of-a-kind architectural and artistic wonder. Education students and the university community are grateful for the generosity of the donors and proud of this student center. The legacy of the Sullivan family in supporting the College of Education at UW runs very deep and is greatly appreciated."

The Sullivan family has made tremendous contributions to the university and the future of education in Wyoming. For example, through his office, Gov. Sullivan has had a great impact, and his grandfather, father, and uncle all served on the university Board of Trustees.

"Jane and I are thrilled with the opportunity to be involved with the University of Wyoming and the College of Education in enhancing the educational environment at the campus in Laramie," says Gov. Sullivan. "The Sullivan Family Student Center represents a family legacy of four generations of association with, and education by, one of Wyoming's most important and beloved institutions. We are deeply honored and particularly grateful for the friendship and generosity of Jeanne and Mickey Klein who have made this remarkable space possible. Nothing is more important to the future of the state of Wyoming than educating its young people, and we are confident this center will contribute to that mission for many generations to come."

Speaking at the dedication ceremony were UW President Tom Buchanan; College of Education Dean Kay Persichitte; Paul Lewis, partner in the firm of Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis Architects; and Mike and Jane Sullivan.

The recent renovation has created a cultural hub for the College of Education-a comfortable gathering place where students can meet, hold informal study groups, and receive important announcements.

"On many occasions, contributors want to focus their giving to honor individuals they greatly admire," says Ben Blalock, president of the UW Foundation. "Such is the case in the Klein's recognition of the Sullivans. Wyoming's university is the fortunate beneficiary of the special relationship these couples enjoy."

Its gathering space is enclosed by bamboo millwork feature walls and a two-story white raised-relief map of the state of Wyoming. It is furnished with round tables and cherry red modern seating. Ceiling lighting combines naturalistic sinuous fixtures with geometric yellow and orange shades and an exhibition of historic photos line the walls. These elements combine to create a unique space, one of the most visually appealing on campus.

The center was designed by Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis (LTL Architects), an award-winning architecture firm led by partners Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki and David J. Lewis. The New York-based firm engages in a diverse range of work-from large-scale academic and cultural buildings to interiors and speculative research projects-and has completed academic, institutional, residential and hospitality projects throughout the United States.

LTL Architects received the 2007 National Design Award for Interior Design from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and was selected as one of six American architectural firms featured in the U.S. Pavilion at the 2004 Venice Architecture Biennale. Their work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Heinz Architectural Center at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

The building contractor was Elk Ridge Builders & Design of Laramie.

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