In this new series, The Daily Campus will provide the history behind each and every building on campus — looking at the structures themselves and the many people whose names are given to dining halls, residence dorms and laboratories across the University of Connecticut.
To begin this series, we will look at the Peter J. Werth Residence Tower, previously known as the NextGen Residence Hall. According to UConn Today, the project for the massive building was announced in 2013 as part of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy’s Next Generation program, funding $1.7 billion into education in the state. A large amount was designated to UConn, including constructing the first new residence hall in over a decade. The building was to be a cutting-edge model of what residence life should be in the 21st century.
After completion in 2016, the NextGen Residence Hall was occupied by students starting in August of that year. The brand-new building was STEM oriented, featuring a 3-D printing Makerspace in the basement, and hosting UConn’s learning communities, groups of students united by a similar major or interdisciplinary communities. NextGen was designed to be a center of innovation and outreach while serving as a student residence hall.
According to a UConn Alumni article, in December 2017, Peter J. Werth donated $22.5 million to the university, the second largest single donation in the school’s history. Werth is the president and CEO of ChemWerth, according to their home website, a pharmaceutical company based in Woodbridge, CT. Although Werth himself did not attend UConn, getting his degree from Fort Hays State University, his generous donation gave him the title of an honorary alumnus of the school.
Werth’s donation went toward fostering innovation and entrepreneurship at UConn, hoping to forge a new generation of problem solvers. In his honor, the NextGen building, already designated as a new hub of development at UConn, was renamed the Peter J. Werth Residence Tower.
Samuel Katz is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached at email@example.com.