Marquette University Honors: The Rauenhorst Legacy

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This fall, Marquette University unveiled a new name for the home of its esteemed engineering programs: the Opus College of Engineering. This humbling tribute honors the life and legacy of our founder Gerald “Gerry” Rauenhorst, one of the university’s most respected alumni and its longest-serving trustee. This month, the university celebrated Gerry’s legacy with an on-campus event featuring a panel discussion that brought together veterans of the engineering industry.

The topic: How engineering innovation is transforming our world.

I was honored to represent Opus Design-Build, L.L.C. as a panelist, returning to Marquette’s campus where Opus is deeply engrained. Our relationship with the university stems not only from the Rauenhorst legacy, but also from the institutional projects in which we have partnered over the years, including most recently the Opus College of Engineering , the Marquette University Law School and Zilber Hall.

As a fellow alumnus of Marquette, it was a privilege for me to represent the tradition of Opus’ strong commitment to innovation in engineering. At Opus, we’re known throughout our industry as a pioneer of the integrated design-build approach that brings architects, engineers and project managers together under one roof, encouraging increased collaboration and communication. It was Gerry who instilled the drive for such innovation in our culture.

Today, Opus continues our commitment to innovation, wearing it as a badge of pride. We are humbled to see the influence our founder has had encouraging such innovation in others, particularly at Marquette, by enabling students to pursue the engineering challenges of our time and, as stated by Dr. Christopher Foley, chair of Opus College’s civil, construction and environmental engineering program, “become the thought leaders of tomorrow.”

On a personal note, I must add that Gerry Rauenhorst has had a powerful influence not just on my life, but on the lives of many others at Opus, Marquette and beyond. Gerry was a pioneer, and he used his success to foster and support others. I encourage all of us, professional and students alike, to learn from the legacy of Gerry Rauenhorst as an innovator in constant pursuit of finding “a better way.”