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Volume 14 | Number 2 | January 2013

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Marian Rochelle, McMurrys pledge financial support for UW Gateway Center

The University of Wyoming’s Gateway Center project received multimillion gifts this fall from the two largest private supporters in UW’s storied 126-year history: a $10 million commitment from Marian H. Rochelle to name the center and a $6 million commitment from Mick and Susie McMurry to name the center’s two most prominent visitors spaces. The combined giving from Marian Rochelle and Mick and Susie McMurry to Wyoming’s university now totals over $37 million.

Additional key private gifts have been received to support the Gateway Center, including a $1 million commitment from Roy and Fay Whitney to name the south plaza.

The proposed 60,000-square-foot center, to be located on the northwest corner of 22nd Street and Grand Avenue near War Memorial Stadium, will serve as a distinctive entry point to welcome alumni, students, friends and donors to UW’s Laramie campus and as a place to celebrate the university’s rich history and tradition.

The Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center, a project guided by the UW Foundation, involves a partnership with the UW Foundation, the Alumni Association, the Center for Advising and Career Services and UW Admissions. The Rochelle Center will be funded completely through private support. Construction is expected to begin in late spring 2013, with the center scheduled to open in fall 2014.

The McMurry Foundation Grand Atrium will greet visitors at UW’s front door and be the location for a major Wyoming energy exhibition. The McMurry Foundation UW Legacy Hall will tell the story of the university through dynamic video and digital displays.

To learn more about the center and to see renderings of the building, go to

Revamped UW geological Museum opens in January

The University of Wyoming geological Museum will reopen in January following an extensive seven-month renovation project highlighted by the additions of a preparation laboratory and a traveling exhibit space. The museum’s new feel also will include upgraded lighting and flooring, revamped exhibits and an increased emphasis on education.

UW spent about $1 million on renovations, aided by a $500,000 allocation from the office of UW President Tom Buchanan and $400,000 in major maintenance funding. Support for the museum was also funded through an endowment of approximately $570,000 established by retired UW professor Brainerd “Nip” Mears and his wife Anne, which was doubled to $1.14 million by state matching. Their contribution is a tribute to the Mearses’ mentor, Samuel H. “Doc” Knight, the notable geologist, professor and early curator of the museum.

UW President Buchanan to retire this year

President Tom Buchanan will retire this summer following a 35-year career during which he rose through the faculty and administrative ranks to preside over a period of tremendous growth at Wyoming’s university. A search is ongoing to find Buchanan’s successor. During his tenure as provost and president, Buchanan spearheaded an unprecedented capital construction boom, created the School of Energy Resources, implemented the Hathaway Scholarship Program and strengthened UW’s collaborative relationship with the state’s seven community colleges. Buchanan, who became UW’s 23rd president in 2005, announced his retirement in September at his annual State of the University address.

Rocky Mountain Rendezvous enjoys record turnout

The University of Wyoming’s Rocky Mountain Rendezvous (RMR), one of the petroleum industry’s major annual recruiting events for students and recent graduates, just keeps getting bigger. The 2012 event attracted a record 350 students from throughout the United States seeking full-time jobs and summer internships. One of five regional job fairs sponsored by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), the RMR moved this year from its longtime home in the Wyoming Union to the UW Conference Center at the Hilton Garden Inn to accommodate its growing audience. Twenty-four companies, including BP Corporation, Chevron, Encana Oil, ExxonMobil and Shell, had representatives at the four-day fair hosted annually by the UW Department of Geology and Geophysics.

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