Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center Adds Wow Factor for Student Recruitment

December 6, 2013
Elaborate entryway
Prospective students will be impressed when they walk through the doors of the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center. (UW Photo)

The University of Wyoming’s student recruiting efforts are getting a boost with the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center.

“One of the things the Gateway will do is give us that ‘wow’ factor,” says Shelley Dodd, director of Admissions. “I can’t wait for the students to walk into that building and be totally impressed with the University of Wyoming experience.”

“As prospective students visit the university, they are in awe of the overall college experience,” says Sara Axelson, vice president for student affairs. “Being able to come into the Gateway, students will begin to make the connection that this isn’t just about a campus visit -- it’s about something much bigger. It is about their college experience, their graduation, their future.”

The new facility provides a way for Wyoming’s only public university to make a dynamic first impression on prospective students. The Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center’s architecture is designed not only to reflect and harmonize with Wyoming’s natural beauty, but also its open and lofty aesthetic environment mirrors the aspirations of all who enter through its doors.

UW’s goal is to increase campus visits. The university has demonstrated that if prospective students visit campus, the chance that they will enroll increases substantially after they meet with faculty and staff, and visit facilities, such as the Rochelle Gateway Center.

Carol and Ramon Tomé donated $1 million for a Gateway Center student recruiting center named in their honor. Carol has been the chief financial officer of Home Depot since 2001. In January 2007, she was named executive vice president of corporate services. She graduated from UW in 1979 with a B.S. degree in communications, and then received an MBA in finance from the University of Denver. Ramon received a B.S. in geology from UW in 1984. He is a chemist and project manager for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Admissions, a unit within the Division of Student Affairs, works to recruit and admit students to the university. Admissions offers campus visit and orientation programs and Discovery Days -- free Saturday events designed to introduce visitors to the UW experience in a group setting.

“It’s really important that we provide prospective students a look at UW’s campus opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom,” Dodd says.

Admissions focuses on all types of potential students -- traditional graduating seniors, transfer students, outreach students, returning students, second bachelor’s, international students, graduate students, students from diverse backgrounds, military veterans, high school guests and non-degree-seeking students.

Located on the corner of 22nd Street and Grand Avenue, the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center will be the students’ first look at the University of Wyoming. The McMurry Family UW Legacy Hall will create an interactive experience that honors UW’s impact on Wyoming; the renowned alumni and friends who have supported Wyoming’s university; and the institution’s noteworthy traditions.

It will tell UW’s story -- from its founding in 1886 through its vibrant present and into the institution’s bright future -- through museum-quality space and dynamic and flexible visuals, including video and digital displays. Students will see how they can become a part of the university’s future and tradition.

The center is a remarkable statement regarding the impact of private fundraising on Wyoming’s university. It is funded completely through private support, including a $10 million commitment from Marian H. Rochelle to name the center and a $6 million commitment from Mick and Susie McMurry through the McMurry Foundation to name the center’s two most prominent visitors’ spaces: the McMurry Foundation Grand Atrium and the McMurry Foundation UW Legacy Hall.

The Rochelle Gateway Center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.

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