Heart of Campus
This year, the new Clay Pathfinder Building opened at LCCC, giving the College an exciting new center for students and the community.
Thanks to the generous support of Laramie County voters in 2013, a bond election allowed for the construction of the Clay Pathfinder Building as well as the Flex Tech Building on the LCCC campus. With additional support provided by the Wyoming State Legislature, the Clay Pathfinder Building opened in January 2017.
Named for John and Esther Clay, some of the most generous donors in LCCC's history, this four-story, 85,000-square-foot facility on the north side of campus serves as the front door for new and returning students and campus visitors.
Some of the building's highlights include:
- Student Hub
- students records
- financial aid
- advising and career services
- counseling and campus wellness
- disability services
- testing centers
- LCCC bookstore
- a new coffee bar, Coffee 101
- ANB Bank Leadership Center
- Black Hills Energy Community Lounge
- University of Wyoming outreach offices
- science labs
"This is a big step forward for us. The building's design has helped us simplify services for students and visitors," said Judy Hay, LCCC's vice president of student services. "The open design allows great connection with our service areas for students, making it easy for them to make the contacts they need in a friendly and accessible way."
Hay noted that the entire building is designed to take advantage of natural light, making nearly every space day-lit.
Everyone in the community is welcome to stop by and enjoy all that the new Clay Pathfinder Building has to offer!
About John and Esther Clay
Since John Clay helped create the Laramie County Community College Foundation Board in 1969, he and his wife, Esther, have been generous donors to the college with both their time and financial support; helping the students of LCCC achieve academic success.
In addition to being a founding member of the LCCC Foundation, John was twice the president of that board: 1974-1976 and 1984-1985. When he wasn't serving as president, he was still an active member in numerous capacities.
The Clays have given so much to LCCC. In 1994, the couple donated all the funds required to renovate the College's art exhibition space, which is now called the Esther and John Clay Fine Arts Gallery. The Gallery serves as a showcase of artwork by LCCC students, the community and the region.
"We just think that the college is such an important part of the community, and, of
course, John and I have always been strong supporters of all of the arts," Esther
Their enjoyment of the arts was made even more evident when they endowed the Clay Summer Watercolor Workshop fund, with the first workshop being held in 1995. This annual weeklong workshop brings a nationally recognized watercolor artist to the campus to teach participants unique techniques and skills enhancing their watercolor painting.
While the arts are a great passion for the Clays, they have also expressed their desire to assist LCCC students in achieving academic success while helping them reduce their student loan debt. As a result, John and Esther have established two scholarships here to benefit art and nursing students, while also contributing to our Outreach and Workforce Development programs. Wanting to help as many students as they can, they continue to support their scholarships annually so they can continue to help more students find success at LCCC with a limited amount of student debt.
Following Esther's passing in 2016, John announced the he and Esther had placed LCCC in their estate plans and that the College would receive $2.5 million from their estate. This gift makes the Clays the largest cumulative and single gift donors in the history of LCCC.
Whenever possible, John has touted the benefits to students of the partnerships between Wyoming's community colleges and the University of Wyoming. Tremendously involved in the community, he served as chairman of the board for Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce and actively participated in the Cowboy Joe Club and numerous other organizations.
Esther was also highly involved civically, serving as a driving force behind the development of the Cheyenne Civic Center. In addition to her many art related activities, Esther was also an active member of the Cheyenne Women's Civic League, St. Mark's Episcopal Church and the Cheyenne Symphony Guild.
In 2016, to recognize John and Esther for their generosity and guidance, LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer announced the naming of the Clay Pathfinder Building on the LCCC campus in their honor. The Clay Pathfinder Building serves as the front door of LCCC for students and the community.
"Throughout their lives, John and Esther Clay have been staunch leaders in the state, the community and certainly at LCCC," he said. "Their contributions, both through volunteerism and through their generous giving, make it an honor for the College to name this facility, our front door, after the Clays."