College of Engineering renamed after late alumnus

Rauenhorst died on April 22, 2014. He was 86. Photo
Rauenhorst died on April 22, 2014. He was 86.
Photo via  Marquette University News Center

The College of Engineering was renamed the Opus College of Engineering on Tuesday, in honor of Gerry Rauenhorst, a 1951 Marquette alumnus who passed away in April.

The name Opus comes from The Opus Group, a company Rauenhorst founded in 1953.

Kristina Ropella, interim dean of the Opus College of Engineering, stated in an email that Rauenhorst’s company name was chosen over his own in order to honor his great accomplishments, and his wishes.

“I think the name is very fitting,” Ropella said. “Gerry’s biography references his decision to change the name of the company from the Rauenhorst Corporation to Opus Corporation after considerable growth and expansion. When he announced that change, Gerry wrote, ‘These changes have given the company a personality and character that have matured beyond those of its founder. It is fitting and logical that the company should now have an identity of its own.'”

Serving as a trustee from 1970 to 2000, when he was elected trustee emeritus, Rauenhorst was Marquette’s longest serving trustee and a strong advocate for the engineering program and Marquette as a whole, according to Ropella.

“Not only did he start his own business,” Ropella said, “but he managed the Opus company based on his values and beliefs and how he felt people should be treated. This is a great example of how we want Marquette engineers to lead.”

Ropella expressed that Marquette is proud to honor Rauenhorst, who stood as an example of Marquette values for students and future engineers.

“It’s clear Gerry embodied the Bible verse ‘to whom much is given, much is required’ and all of Marquette has benefited from his leadership and support,” University President Michael Lovell said in a university news brief Tuesday. “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.”