Construction of the University of Wyoming’s Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center began April 1 on the corner of 22nd Street and Grand Avenue near War Memorial Stadium. The 67,000-square-foot center, upon its opening in fall 2014, will serve as the university’s front door to welcome alumni, prospective students, friends and supporters. The project is being guided by the UW Foundation in partnership with the UW Alumni Association, the Center for Advising and Career Services and UW Admissions. The largest capital fundraising project in UW history, supported entirely by private dollars, is fronted by leadership gifts of $10 million from Marian H. Rochelle and $6 million from Mick and Susie McMurry through the McMurry Foundation.
University of Wyoming and state elected officials broke ground in March for a new undergraduate laboratory facility in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The Michael B. Enzi STEM Facility also will include a laboratory for a new UW undergraduate atmospheric sciences program that will interface with the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center in Cheyenne. Funding for the nearly 100,000-square-foot facility was made available through a 2011 Wyoming legislative appropriation of $50 million in federal Abandoned Mine Lands dollars. Completion is scheduled for spring 2015.
The University of Wyoming received major gifts in the the first two months of 2013 from Hess Corporation ($4.4 million), ExxonMobil ($2.5 million) and Ultra Petroleum ($2 million) to advance the university’s work in energy research related to unconventional extraction of energy resources from unconventional reservoirs. All three gifts were doubled by the state of Wyoming’s transformational matching fund program designated for UW’s energy programs; more than $80 million in private contributions and state matching funds have been invested at UW since the creation of the School of Energy Resources in 2006. The Hess, ExxonMobil and Ultra gifts follow a $1 million pledge in April 2012 from Marathon Oil.
The University of Wyoming in November gained membership in the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA), an achievement eight years in the making that affirmed the UW Libraries’ standing as one of the top research libraries in the central and western United States. The university had worked since 2004 with the state legislature and two governors to strengthen UW library collections and services in an effort to gain entry to GWLA, a 32-library consortium that is nationally recognized as a leader in transforming scholarly communication and as a facilitator in applying new information technologies.
Paula Lutz, a scholar in cell biology and neuroscience who has served as a dean at two universities, will succeed the retiring B. Oliver Walter as dean of the University of Wyoming College of Arts and Sciences. Lutz will begin at UW in July, leading the college with the largest enrollment of UW’s academic units, with bachelor’s degree programs in 43 disciplines, 42 master’s programs and 11 doctoral programs. She was selected from among three finalists produced by a 13-member search committee chaired by Bill Gern, the university’s vice president for research and economic development.