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Alum Endows Second Deanship in UW History

December 20, 2021
group of people with a pony
UW alumnus Lawrence “Larry” Carrell, second from left, poses with student handlers of Cowboy Joe -- from left, Kendra Halder, Julia Halmay and Payton Hallsted -- on a recent football game day. A $5 million gift from Carrell has created the Carrell Family Deanship in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. (Craig Russow Photo)

The University of Wyoming has received a remarkable private gift of $5 million from UW alumnus Lawrence “Larry” Carrell to establish a named deanship in the College of Engineering and Applied Science -- the second named deanship in the university’s history after the John P. Ellbogen Foundation named the College of Education deanship earlier this year.

“I feel fortunate to have graduated from the University of Wyoming,” Carrell says. “My experience at UW involved a lot of hard work and rough weather, and, overall, my education has played a significant role in my success. This deanship is a way we can continue to stay competitive.”

The Carrell Family Deanship in the College of Engineering and Applied Science will be used to recruit and retain deans at UW while fostering excellence and addressing the critical needs and priorities of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

“Larry’s amazing generosity is another key step toward a critical agenda to endow each dean position at the University of Wyoming,” says UW President Ed Seidel. “In talking with Larry, I was privileged to see the defining leadership role his giving will have in elevating UW’s commitment to academic excellence. It is such an honor to have Larry’s partnership in all.”

Endowed faculty positions empower UW to attract a diverse candidate pool and retain strong educators. Named deanships also attract prominent researchers and scholars, helping the university remain competitive among other leading engineering programs.

“UW will soon announce a new priority -- the University Excellence Initiative -- that will focus on recruiting new academic leaders and empowering our existing top-notch faculty to build educational and research excellence,” Seidel says. “This initiative will dramatically enhance the university, advance Wyoming’s new economy and support programs important to UW and the state.”

The deanship aligns with the College of Engineering and Applied Science’s Tier-1 Engineering Initiative. In 2014, then-Gov. Matt Mead and the Wyoming State Legislature approved biennium funding of $8 million for Phase 1 of the engineering initiative, in addition to $18.4 million for facilities development.

“Mr. Carrell is a remarkably generous man,” says UW Provost and Executive Vice President Kevin Carman. “His career accomplishments are extraordinary, and he is now focusing on giving back to programs that are meaningful to him and his family. It is humbling and inspiring to know that his engineering education at UW was transformative and that he is providing this transformative gift to assure the program thrives in perpetuity.”

A Tier-1 college is a nationally recognized institution of academic excellence and world-class research. The goal of the Tier-1 Engineering Initiative is to elevate UW’s College of Engineering and Applied Science to national prominence in undergraduate education and selected areas of research, and to enhance economic development in Wyoming.

“Larry Carrell truly embodies the essence of a highly successful engineering alumnus who is giving back, in multiple ways, to his proud alma mater,” says Cameron Wright, acting dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science. “This deanship will provide tremendous leverage to move our college ever closer to the Tier-1 goals. I’ve greatly enjoyed getting to know Larry and find him to truly exemplify the Code of the West which, for me, is the highest compliment I can give.”

The deanship is the university’s second named deanship in its history. The John P. “Jack” Ellbogen Deanship for the College of Education, established in 2020 by the John P. Ellbogen Foundation, was UW’s first named deanship.

The Carrell Family Deanship in the College of Engineering and Applied Science is the most recent gift from Carrell, whose philanthropy has supported the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in the past. Recently, Carrell made a $5 million gift for the establishment of the Petroleum County Community Center in Petroleum County, Mont. Carrell’s philanthropic efforts also have supported community youth programs, debt-free education initiatives and seniors.

Carrell earned a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering in 1965, then his master’s in 1968. He has worked for Chevron, Conoco and Luff Exploration Co., where he eventually became vice president of operations. In 2003, Carrell became the owner and president of his own oil and gas business, Carrell Enterprises Inc., which is based in Sheridan. He is now retired.

“One of the great parts about estate planning is getting to see the impact while you’re still here,” Carrell says. “I believe that if you end up with more than you need, you should give back. Estate planning has allowed me to enjoy seeing how giving back is helping others. It’s a hard subject for some people to talk about, but I’m glad I get to see how it’s making a difference during my lifetime.”

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