Welcome to the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center
The Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center is the University of Wyoming’s ‘front door.’ It is a dramatic welcoming center with a state-of-the-art technological infrastructure that was funded entirely through private support.
The Purpose of the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center
The depth and breadth of the center’s purpose are like no other in the nation. It has a much wider mandate and it serves a much broader audience than comparable facilities at other institutions of higher learning.
It is home for students past, present, and future. It is a place for prospective students and families to enter the university, for gatherings of current students, for alumni to arrive and celebrate the history and traditions of their alma mater, for friends to participate in the university’s programs, and for corporations and organizations to interview and recruit UW students. It also serves Wyoming’s donors, athletic fans, supporters, friends, and the general public.
The center can meet the needs of almost any size or type of event. The spaces within the building are technologically savvy, flexible, and aesthetically one-of-a-kind, and there are two plazas ideal for outside events.
These spaces can be used for intimate lunches or for a banquet of 600 in the ballroom and spilling out onto the outdoor plazas. They can be used for tailgating, weddings, speeches, reunions, conferences, or just a meeting place for friends traveling into town. There is free Wi-Fi and a 30-screen digital wall showing video content of Wyoming and its university.
The facility is home to the UW Alumni Association, Admissions, Career Services, and the Foundation and contains office and collaborative space for these units as they support and promote the university.
The Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center Facility
Surrounded by a dramatic three-story wall of windows, the McMurry Foundation Grand Atrium proudly welcomes visitors, functioning as the central hub. With its wide-open welcoming aesthetics and prominent university displays and exhibits, it serves as a gathering place and event space for students, alumni, prospective employers, industry leaders, and all of UW’s other constituencies.
The McMurry Family UW Legacy Hall will be the most visited space in the new building, creating an interactive experience that honors the impact of UW on Wyoming, the renowned alumni and friends who have supported Wyoming’s university, and the noteworthy traditions of the institution. It tells the story of UW—from the founding in 1886 through its vibrant present and on into the institution’s bright future—through museum-quality space and dynamic and flexible visuals, including video and digital displays. Within these spaces, the impact of Wyoming’s energy industry in advancing Wyoming and UW is celebrated in a permanent exhibition.
The static and digital exhibits are a collaboration of the UW Foundation and the American Heritage Center. These exhibits will continue to be changed and updated, and the American Heritage Center will continue to be actively involved in historical content for the Legacy Hall and energy display.
The McMurry Foundation UW Legacy Hall features a one-of-a-kind elk horn sculpture suspended in space. It is created with over 120 fallen elk antlers from Jackson that are designed to be one continuous shape. It is designed by Shawn Rivett and sculpted by Steve Barrus, both from Casper.
The History of the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center
Plans for the Gateway Center project began in 2008 and featured prominently in the university’s long-range development plan.
The UW Foundation Board of Directors assembled a planning team and charged them with the direction and leadership of this project. Among its members were constituents from across campus and the UW Foundation Board, including Scott Neu, board chair; April Brimmer Kunz, vice chair; emeritus chairs Clayton Hartman, Roy Cline, Greg Dyekman, and Frank Mendicino; and Mari Ann Martin, former foundation board member.
Fundraising began in August of 2012, and construction began in April of 2013 and was completed in October of 2014.
The center’s namesake, philanthropist Marian H. Rochelle, gave more than $12 million in support of the facility. Mick and Susie McMurry gave $6 million through the McMurry Foundation to support the Grand Atrium and the Legacy Hall. Greg and Loren Hill gave $1.25 million to create the north plaza, Roy and Fay Whitney gave $1 million to create the south plaza, and Carol and Ramon Tomé gave $1 million for the Student Admissions Center. The list goes on. The center has inspired many more wonderful gifts from UW’s dedicated supporters.
The center was designed by Cheyenne, Wyo.-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 designed the exhibit and museum spaces. The construction manager-at-risk was Wyoming- and Colorado-based Haselden Construction.