A major gift from Doug E. O’Brien ’75 and Kathryn K. O’Brien ’76 will transform the Geology Majors Room, which serves as an important central hub for geology students’ educational and social activities, alumni networking events, and academic work. The new space will be named the Dr. J. Mark Erickson Geology Majors Room in honor of their former professor, mentor, and friend.
“The renovation and expansion of the Geology Majors Room will enhance the sense of belonging and community within the geology department, ultimately contributing to student retention, well-being, and success,” says Department Chair Judith Nagel-Myers. “Making lifelong connections with one another and alumni is what differentiates geology studies at St. Lawrence and prepares our students to excel in their graduate studies and professional lives. Our Geology Majors Room is the heart of this network.”
Adds Interim Vice President of University Advancement Kim Hissong ’94: “The space will not only cater to the current requirements of students but also serve as a pilot project that can be replicated by other academic departments and program areas to support students in their studies as well as their career preparation.”
The project will create two multifunctional spaces from Brown Hall Rooms 125 and 127 that include an updated student technological workspace and a dedicated professional development and mentoring space. The existing Majors Room will become an inviting gathering space for clubs, departmental activities, small group work, mentoring sessions, and meetings with alumni.
Doug earned a master’s degree at the University of Iowa in 1977 and an MBA from the University of Houston in 1984, and built a career as a petroleum geologist for Texaco and Texas Crude Energy. Kathy has worked in a preschool and as a community volunteer. The O’Briens’ support of the geology department has touched the lives of many students and created countless opportunities.
Their philanthropy helped renovate Brown Hall Room 142 that now sets the standard as a 21st-century teaching and learning space for the geology department. They’ve expanded the Dr. J. Mark Erickson Geology University Fellowship Endowment in support of summer fellowship recipients and they have invested in the James S. Street Geology Endowment Fund to support the research and conference travel needs of geology majors. They have also given their time and talents as an admissions volunteer, career advisor, and faithful participant in Laurentian events.
To learn more about how you can support the education, traditions, events, and spaces that shape the St. Lawrence University experience, please contact University Advancement at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-758-4438, or give now.