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In 2014, Marquette University announced the naming of its engineering college as the Opus College of Engineering to honor the life and legacy of alumnus Gerald "Gerry" Rauenhorst, who founded The Opus Group®, a family of commercial real estate development, construction and design companies headquartered in Minneapolis with offices and projects across the country.
Rauenhorst, who passed away in April 2014, was a visionary in the construction and commercial real estate development industry. Drawing on his engineering background, he was recognized for helping create the integrated design-build approach. 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.
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. Lovel. "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."