Story by Katie Brayden
Reaching retirement is one of life’s great achievements, often marked with parties, toasts and tokens of appreciation. But as Doug Patterson, a 1976 construction management graduate, prepares to retire from Kiewit Corporation after 38 years in the industry, the milestone has been honored through a donation from him and his family to the Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University in support of heavy construction education and research.
“The goal with CSU was to meaningfully contribute back to the school that was instrumental in Doug’s successful career,” said Roy Patterson, president of Patterson Family Group and Doug’s son. “Heavy construction is important to the future well-being of the United States, and we want to support those building the next generation of leaders in the industry.”
The Patterson family’s gift was matched with a gift from the Beavers Charitable Trust, a social and honorary organization founded in 1977 with the goal of supporting universities that are helping teach the heavy construction industry’s future leaders. Kiewit Corporation, Doug’s employer, and Gordon Marks, a 1966 industrial-construction management graduate and Beavers member, also made substantial gifts, which collectively has created a $1.2 million endowment to provide funding for this initiative in perpetuity.
‘Sustainable funding stream’
“The Patterson Family and Beavers Charitable Trust Heavy Construction Initiative Endowment will provide a necessary and sustainable funding stream that will allow us to focus on this sector of the industry through hands-on learning, industry partnerships and enhanced research and classroom experiences,” explained Mostafa Khattab, head of the department.
The Patterson family hopes this gift will provide the department with opportunities to enhance the learning environment by engaging industry professionals in real-world curriculum design and instruction. Additionally, they intend the gift to provide students with unique opportunities such as competitions and on-site learning experience.
“Mostafa’s vision for the program and his solid steps to constantly improve the program set CSU among the top CM programs in the country,” added Dave Woods, executive director of Beavers Charitable Trust. “CSU’s program has worked hard to provide a heavy construction track.”
Fundraising to continue
The Patterson family and Beavers Charitable Trust have charged CSU to continue fundraising for this endowment, with a goal of raising another $300,000, bringing heavy construction funding in the department to $3 million in endowed funds.
In 2005, dozens of heavy construction companies came together to donate $1.5 million to create a heavy civil endowed faculty position in the Department of Construction Management. Jeff Wilkes currently holds the Heavy Civil Endowed Chair.
“Colorado State University’s commitment to the heavy construction industry is to provide faculty who can inspire and lead students to choose heavy construction management as a career choice,” said Jeff McCubbin, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, which oversees the Department of Construction Management. “The CM department is creating a culture of understanding about heavy construction and its importance to the future of our state, region and nation.”
For more information about making a contribution to the department, visit https://advancing.colostate.edu/CM.