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December 05, 2012

Spaces honor donors supporting new LeChase Hall

About LeChase Hall

The top three floors of the $24 million structure will house classrooms, offices, and spaces to support professional development of educators and educational research and reform work. The first floor features 14 classrooms that will serve the University’s undergraduates during the day and the Warner School in the evening.

Raymond LeChase, for whom the building is named, was founder of LeChase Construction Services, a Rochester construction pioneer, a noted philanthropist, and a dedicated supporter of education.

LeChase Hall is expected to be ready for classes in January.

Thanks to Robin and Timothy Wentworth, one of the most striking features of Raymond F. LeChase Hall now has a name. Wentworth Atrium, which will unify the three top floors of the Warner School’s new home, will recognize the Wentworths for their $1 million gift to the school.

The Wentworths, who have one daughter who graduated from the University and is now a teacher and another who is an incoming College freshman, made the gift “in grateful appreciation to the University for its mission of education and research” and designated it to the “long-term facility needs of the Warner School of Education.”

“Tim and Robin are wonderful examples of parents at the University who are helping lead the way for future generations of students,” says President Joel Seligman. “K–12 education is a critical aspect of American education, and with this new facility to support its programming, the Warner School of Education will be able to strengthen programs in Rochester and influence models and research of national consequence.”

“When we were designing this building and particularly the atrium, we were envisioning an open, vibrant space that serves as a hub for the Warner School community and opens us up to the larger campus and Rochester educational community,” says Raffaella Borasi, dean of the Warner School. “We are incredibly grateful to the Wentworths for sharing our vision for the potential of the building as a community resource.”

Tim and Robin Wentworth also established the Wentworth Family Endowed Scholarship for deserving transfer students, two years ago.

The Genrich-Rusling Room

Ellen Rusling ’66, ’79W and her husband, Tom, are donating $285,000 to the Warner School, a gift that will go toward the naming of the second-floor multipurpose room in LeChase Hall. The Genrich-Rusling Room, designed as a flexible community space, incorporates Ellen Rusling’s maiden name to pay tribute to her father, Woody Genrich, who worked to improve education for the children of New York and served on the state Board of Regents for 22 years, including seven years as chancellor.

Borasi says she considers Rusling a model example of what steadfast commitment and service can do to help an institution evolve. “The ambitious vision and course being charted for the Warner School are made possible through the acts of leadership, dedication, and support carried out by outstanding friends like Ellen,” she says. “We are honored and grateful to count her among our most remarkable alumni and also among our most beloved advocates.” The 1,250-square-foot room will allow students, faculty, staff, and community partners to gather for meetings, films, lectures, professional development, and other events. When not in use for formal activities, the room will be open to students as a study and lounge area.

“The Warner School is important to me, and it has not had the appropriate or adequate space for the seriousness of its task,” says Rusling.

“Educators hold the keys to the development of our children, how they will be able to accept responsibility and how they will be able to form the future, so it’s very important to invest in and honor them.”

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