Published: Feb. 17, 2016 By

Dean Steven R. Leigh

Dean Steven R. Leigh

I have the honor of announcing that the renewal of the Ketchum Arts and Sciences building is complete. Our departments of ethnic studies, political science and sociology have moved back into the building and are conducting their normal activities after being displaced for slightly more than a year.

We undertook a major renovation of the building in partnership with the state of Colorado. This was a high-impact project, given that annual state funding for the University of Colorado Boulder now hovers at about 5 percent of the total CU-Boulder budget. Any investment from the state must be carefully directed toward advancing the mission of the university, to the benefit of our students and Colorado’s citizens.

The building is now one of the premier academic buildings in the country. It was the last of 15 buildings designed between 1921 and 1938 by renowned architect Charles Klauder at the university and was newly finished at the time of Klauder’s death in 1938. Ketchum and other buildings in the Tuscan Vernacular Revival style—characterized by rough, textured sandstone walls with sloping, multi-leveled red-tiled roofs and Indiana limestone trim—give the CU-Boulder campus its defining style and remarkable beauty.

The renovation has been accomplished to an exacting standard and involved significant changes in floor plans to meet contemporary needs. The quality of construction is outstanding, assuring a long and distinguished service life. Moreover, we have realized significant energy savings, and the building has been granted LEED Gold status. In addition to being highly efficient, the building includes many features that will improve the building’s functionality. These new features include dimmable LED lighting, LCD skylights that darken with solar gains, three-pane glass windows that are faithful to the original Klauder design, individual office climate control, state-of-the-art projection and presentation systems, and flexible classrooms that can be partitioned.

Paying it forward with Ketchum campaign

We ensured that the building was “student friendly” by providing significant work areas for graduate students, including graduate teaching assistants. Furnished public areas are available on each floor, providing study spaces with whiteboards for collaborative learning.

In my September dean’s Letter, I announced the Ketchum campaign to take advantage of the excitement generated by this remarkable renovation. Specifically, the campaign offers naming opportunities for spaces in the building. The campaign provides scholarship funds for students in the social sciences. Funding opportunities begin at $10,000 to name a faculty office, and the highest opportunity is $200,000 to name an “active” classroom supporting new pedagogies. There are various prices associated with different spaces including faculty offices, lounges, department offices and more.

For naming a room, donors will be recognized with a plaque associated with the room they choose and will be acknowledged in other areas of the building and on our website.

If you have a chance to visit campus, I invite you to visit Ketchum to see how we will continue to advance education and research through state-of-the-art facilitates. With the Ketchum scholarship campaign, we will be able to greatly strengthen our impact on the state and society more generally. The campaign offers opportunities for donors to create significant benefits far into the future by supporting students who will make a positive difference in the world.

Steven R. Leigh is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder.