Marquette University Names College of Engineering in Honor of Alumnus


​Marquette University will name its engineering college the Opus College of Engineering to honor the life and legacy of alumnus and Opus founder Gerald “Gerry” Rauenhorst. 

Rauenhorst, who passed away in April, was a visionary in the construction and commercial real estate development industry. The son of tenant farmers, he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Marquette in 1951, after receiving an economics degree from the University of St. Thomas in 1948. He started his company in 1953 and became a respected business leader and philanthropist. Drawing on his engineering background, he was recognized for helping create the integrated design-build approach.

Rauenhorst was Marquette’s longest serving trustee, serving from 1970 to 2000, when he was elected trustee emeritus. In addition to providing counsel to university leadership, he consistently supported university initiatives and projects, particularly projects related to Marquette’s College of Engineering. 

“It’s clear Gerry embodied the bible verse ‘to whom much is given, much is required’ and all of Marquette has benefitted from his leadership and support,” said Marquette President Michael R. Lovell. “Marquette relies on the generosity and support of alumni and friends and the university is proud to be able to honor Gerry by naming the College of Engineering after the business he started.”

The university will honor the legacy and life of Rauenhorst on October 3rd. The celebration will begin with a panel discussion with engineering leaders, including myself, discussing how the field is transforming the world. After the panel, the university will recognize the contributions of Rauenhorst at a special program.

I will be joined on the panel by Todd Adams, CEO of Rexnord Corp., Kim Marotta, director of sustainability at MillerCoors, and MaryAnn Wright, vice president of engineering and product development for Johnson Controls. The panel will be moderated by Mike Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy and award winning journalist.