Western announces $80M gift, new computer science and engineering school

GUNNISON, Colo. — An $80-million gift is bringing Western State Colorado University’s Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science and Engineering to life, the school announced Thursday.

It’s the largest gift in the university’s history and one of the largest donations ever to a public university in Colorado.

Construction of the Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science and Engineering will begin this week on Western’s Gunnison campus.

The donor, Paul M. Rady, is the CEO and chairman of the board of Colorado-based Antero Resources and Antero Midstream. He is a 1978 graduate of the university, with a bachelor’s degree in geology.

A collaboration between Western and the University of Colorado Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science will allow students to obtain degrees in computer science and mechanical engineering as graduates of the University of Colorado Boulder. They will have the opportunity to complete their first two years as Western students and the balance of their education as CU Boulder students, all while remaining on Western’s Gunnison campus.

The dean of CU Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, Bobby Braun, said this expansion will help meet the demands of Colorado’s rapidly expanding high-tech industries.

“This partnership is good for the economic competitiveness of our state and will allow CU to continue to expand our reach across the Western Slope,” he said.

Graduates in this partnership will receive a Bachelor of Science degree and diploma from CU Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science.

“This generous investment from Mr. Rady provides Western with the single greatest transformative opportunity in our history — allowing us to combine our historical strengths with cutting-edge technical education,” said President of Western Greg Salsbury.

The new Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science and Engineering building will be 75,000 square feet and LEED certified, with versatile teaching and lab spaces, and indoor and outdoor learning areas. It will be constructed at the southern entrance to campus and will subsequently serve as the gateway to the university.

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