Center Mission and Purpose

More than anything else, the O’Connor Center is meant to be a competent and trusted resource for key decision makers and stakeholders in the state and region in understanding the region’s past and present condition and important trends shaping its future. In interpreting important cultural, social, economic, and environmental change, regional awareness and perspectives matter. And this is why the O’Connor Center exists and will continue to contribute in the future.

The Rocky Mountain West has a rich history and culture unlike any other in North America. The larger region is experiencing great change with fast-growing populations and economies in both the U.S. and Canada. It is world-renowned for its outstanding natural environment which sustains a high quality of life for all who live here. And because of these qualities the region attracts millions of visitors each year.

The Center is active in research, scholarship, and public outreach and education. It has conducted millions of dollars in externally funded research and programming since its inception in the early ‘90s and steadily built a nearly $5 million permanent endowment, which continues to grow. The Center’s highly-acclaimed journalism and media programs closely monitor and report on important events and trends shaping the region. With its cross-border emphasis, the O’Connor Center also contributes to the University’s core goals in international learning, education and leadership.