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UWyo MagazineFor Students Past, Present and Future

September 2014 | Vol. 16, No. 1

The depth and breadth of the center’s purpose are like no other in the nation. Its mission is to serve all students past, present and future in a myriad of ways.

Prospective students will enter the university for the first time through breathtaking architecture that matches their aspirations.

“In an admissions office, we’re inspiring hope in our prospective students,” says Shelley Dodd, director of admissions. “When they walk in, that’s what they’re going to feel. ‘I can do this, and I want to do this.’ ”

Current students will not only attend events in the center. More importantly, they will interview with prospective employers in one of the 10 video-conferencing-equipped career recruiting interview rooms.

“We kind of think of it at the other end, not gateway coming in but gateway to the real world,” says Jo Chytka, director of the Center for Advising and Career Services. “Having this beautiful professional environment will help students have confidence going into an interview. The employers see that not only do we have strong academics and a strong work ethic, but we respect the professions that we are hiring for, and we want those conversations to occur in an appropriate facility. I think that’s a huge benefit to our students.” 

Alumni will return to the center as prospective employers. They will also be able to tailgate during home football games and use the facility as a readily accessible home base whenever they are in town. The event space can even be used for weddings and other gatherings.

“Our alumni will benefit from the ease of access to alumni staff and services, and invitations to participate in quality alumni events planned to be held in the center,” says Keener Fry, director of the alumni association. “After a visit to the center, alumni will leave with a heightened sense of pride for their alma mater.”

“The Rochelle Gateway Center provides an enormous opportunity to welcome prospective students and their parents, employers, alumni and friends to the university,” says Sara Axelson, vice president for student affairs. “Having alumni relations, employees from admissions and career services, and the foundation housed together is significant for multiple collaborations and the best possible service and support to all constituencies. I join my colleagues in student affairs in expressing our gratitude in being part of this phenomenal facility.”

The center is not only for students, however. It will also serve the university’s many donors and friends, including corporations and foundations. With its convenient location, easy parking and welcoming atmosphere, it will serve the needs all of UW’s external constituents.

Exterior rendering of Gateway Center'

The Gateway to a Remarkable University

Surrounded by a dramatic three-story wall of windows, the McMurry Family Grand Atrium will proudly welcome visitors as UW’s front door, functioning as the central hub. With its wide-open welcoming aesthetics and prominent university displays and exhibits, it will serve 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 will tell 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 will also be celebrated in a permanent exhibition.

The north and south entrances will each feature iconic statues. The south statue by Chris Navarro titled Wyoming Cowboy will be a bronze representation of Steamboat, UW’s iconic bucking horse and rider rising almost 20 feet on its base. This sculpture was made possible by a $500,000 donation from Bruce and Kathy Bummer. The north statue by D. Michael Thomas titled Breaking Through will feature a horse and rider breaking through a wall of Wyoming sandstone, and the rider will be a woman. This latter work of art was made possible by a $500,000 donation from April Brimmer Kunz and Marian H. Rochelle.

The center is 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 is designing the exhibit and museum spaces in the center. The construction manager at risk is Wyoming- and Colorado-based Haselden Construction.

The Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center will instill pride in UW’s students, alumni, faculty, staff and visitors, who will know immediately that they are entering the gateway to a remarkable university—a fitting way to commemorate more than 50 years of vital strategic partnership between the UW Foundation and the University of Wyoming.

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