OtterBox co-founders donate $8.1M to create Richardson Design Center

Wednesday October 12, 2016 0 comments Tags: Fort Collins, OtterBox, Blue Ocean Enterprises, Curt and Nancy Richardson, Richardson Design Center, Tony Frank, Jeff Corbin, Brett Anderson

FORT COLLINS -- An $8.1 million gift from Nancy and Curt Richardson will help fund a new design center at Colorado State University that will showcase and elevate several of CSU’s signature academic programs.

The Richardsons, co-founders of OtterBox and Blue Ocean Enterprises, want to inspire the next generation of students and professionals as they prepare to become innovative and creative thought leaders, CSU said.CSU_logoUSE_1

The Richardson Design Center will provide a new state-of-the-art creative space for students and faculty in programs across campus, including interior design, design and merchandising, landscape architecture, art, engineering, product development, entrepreneurship, construction management and others.

The design center is scheduled to open in January 2019.

“The Richardson Design Center will position Colorado State University to become an innovative national hub for design-thinking and entrepreneurship,” said Tony Frank, CSU president.

“Integrating with our exceptional academic programs in design, engineering, business and the arts, it will be a magnet for creativity, where talented students, faculty and industry leaders gather to learn, discover and design together.”

Nancy Richardson graduated from CSU in 1982 with a degree in interior design, and has long been a passionate supporter of her alma mater and the design program. She has been a design adviser for numerous buildings, including the OtterBox campus development and many other projects for related companies.

“Design touches everybody, whether they recognize it or not,” Nancy Richardson said when describing her desire to support the project.

“In our journey as entrepreneurs, Curt and I experienced first-hand the tangible benefits of multidisciplinary project management, and we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to encourage that same approach in design education.”OtterBox_logoUSE

The 40,000-square foot building will be constructed in the south-central campus corridor, on Lake Street east of the new on campus stadium. It is expected to shine a light on several of CSU’s top undergraduate programs and house design studios, fabrication/prototype/ideation labs, presentation spaces, classrooms and computer labs.

“Thank you to Nancy and Curt Richardson,” said Jeff Corbin, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences.

“Their gift provides immeasurable opportunities to advance multidisciplinary design thinking for our students at CSU. The Richardson Design Center will create opportunities for students from multiple disciplines to create, innovate and collaborate in an open and immersive design community.

“We are now engaging in curricular planning to create these new opportunities for students in design-related fields of study.”

The center will create space to grow CSU’s design-related fields of study, with anticipated new courses and possibilities for a minor in design. The goal is to make CSU one of the top 10 schools in the country for design.

Total cost of the design center will be $16.5 million. CSU will continue to fundraise for the project and is offering companies and individuals passionate about design the opportunity to name interior spaces.

“Nancy and Curt have always had a vision for their work, this community and Colorado State University,” said Brett Anderson, VP for university advancement.

“The Richardson Design Center will elevate what we do here at CSU in so many different programs, to incredible new heights. We can’t thank them enough for this impactful gift.”