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The University of Wyoming Alumni Association will be able to more effectively connect with alumni in UW’s new state-of-the-art welcoming center, the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center.
“Many of our alumni have not been back to campus in a long time,” says Keener Fry, Alumni Association executive director. “So (the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center) is an effective starting point to their first visit in many years. To remind them of the history of the university that’s going to be so present with all of those professional exhibits is going to be very key.”
Thanks to the new welcoming facility, alumni will have a place to reconnect with old friends, professors and memories from their days at school. They will be able to remember the past, enjoy the present and anticipate the future in one central location.
The Alumni Association’s mission is to foster a spirit of loyalty and fraternity among graduates and former students, and to promote the general welfare, development, achievement and honor of the university. This is accomplished through sponsored events and functions -- both on campus and throughout the country -- alumni publications, the association’s web presence, and social networking initiatives.
In the past decade, the Alumni Association has reached more than 75,000 alumni nationwide through reunions and other social functions. Currently, the association sponsors and collaborates with other UW departments to host more than 100 events each year.
Homecoming is a major event with many activities for returning alumni. Homecoming weekend is a time for alumni to reacquaint with their alma mater -- to relive the experiences that defined their college years, and to experience the ways in which UW has both changed and remained the same. The Alumni Association coordinates many activities during Homecoming weekend, including the 50-year class reunion and the Homecoming parade.
“Homecoming next year will be one of a kind,” explains Fry. “We have alumni who start coming in on Thursday and Friday, and to greet them in (the Gateway) -- for them to capture what is happening at the university currently but then to reflect back on the traditions and the history of the university -- should create the environment that these folks should have when they come back to campus for Homecoming.”
During Homecoming 2013, 400 alumni stopped by the Alumni House. With the location of the Rochelle Gateway Center and easy access to parking, the Alumni Association expects more than 1,000 at next year’s celebration.
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 fall 2014. To learn more, visit www.uwyo.edu/gatewaycenter.