Making Western Nevada College the best educational experience possible for students brings pleasure to Rob and Dorothy Ramsdell.
Over the past 15 years, the Carson City couple has been instrumental in improving programs, facilities, equipment and studentsâ€™ educational opportunities at WNC.
Their unwavering generosity and support of WNC recently touched the collegeâ€™s Bachelor of Technology (BTech) Construction Management program when they made a lead gift of $100,000 for the an endowed faculty chair position.
â€œWe want to do what we can for the community and the college in particular,â€ Rob said. â€œWeâ€™re real pleased to give the support we can give.â€
Rob has been instrumental in the design and development of the collegeâ€™s B-Tech program, providing valuable experience from his 30-year construction career, including 28 years with Peter Kiewit Sons Inc. in Omaha, Neb. A civil engineering degree from the University of Minnesota helped create professional opportunities for Rob, so heâ€™d like to see WNCâ€™s BTech program provide students with more career options.
â€œIâ€™d like to see it develop into a viable degree program,â€ Rob said. â€œThere is a niche for this kind of program for kids who donâ€™t want to become civil engineers.
The Ramsdellsâ€™ investment is the first of its kind at WNC and allows the college to solidify the program. With the generous contribution to the Construction Management program, WNC will be able to add a faculty position or consider guest faculty.
â€œThe college can’t thank the Ramsdells enough for their very generous donation,â€ said WNC President Chester Burton. â€œAs we put the budget challenges of the past several years behind us, we will look to our partners in the community as an avenue to assist in growing programs and student services that will provide dividends for everyone in the WNC service area.
Rob and Dorothy, through the WNC Foundation, have demonstrated their commitment to the future of WNC and Carson City with this gift. They have my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for their support and faith in Western Nevada College and the students we serve.â€
Since 1999, the Ramsdells have contributed their time, expertise and resources to the college. They have provided scholarships to students, reconstruction of the Child Development Center playground, continued development of Jack C. Davis Observatory, creation of the Veterans Resource Center and other institutional sustainability projects. The couple has also sponsored the WNC softball team and assisted in supporting the highly acclaimed â€œAlways Lost: A Meditation on Warâ€ exhibition tour.
â€œMy wife has been with the foundation board for 19 years and Iâ€™ve been involved with the search committee for construction technology, and we decided to put our money where mouths were to help do something about it,â€ Rob said.
WNCâ€™s Bachelor of Technology degree program in construction management provides students the means to pursue a career as a construction manager or supervisor. After earning an Associate of Applied Science degree in construction project management (there have been nearly 60 students to do so in the past 10 years), students can enter the bachelorâ€™s degree program, which launched in the fall of 2007. To date, 40 students have earned a Bachelor of Technology degree from WNC.
The Ramsdellsâ€™ gift will help WNCâ€™s BTech program to evolve and develop so students can find desirable jobs in ever-changing construction markets.
â€œTheir continuing generosity to WNC is as inspiring as it is appreciated by the students and faculty their gifts have impacted,â€ said Robert Wynegar, WNCâ€™s vice president of academic and student affairs. â€œThis most recent gift will allow WNC to take steps in the redesign of our Bachelor of Technology in Construction Management program to continue to meet the needs of Nevada’s current, emerging, and future construction markets.â€
The program also gives people already working in the construction field the opportunity to broaden their career possibilities.
Having already played a part in WNCâ€™s first baccalaureate degree program in construction management, Rob wants to see it prosper and grow well into the future.
â€œIt could become not just a local Northern Nevada program, but it could become viable on a regional basis or more, but for now, itâ€™s one step at a time,â€ he said.