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UW, CSU heads affirm intention to sell big ranch

Jun 7, 2012 - By Mead Gruver, The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- The presidents of the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University have met and reaffirmed plans to sell a 50,000-acre ranch in southeast Wyoming by sealed bid late this year or possibly next.

The University of Wyoming Foundation and Colorado State University Research Foundation have jointly owned the Y Cross Ranch since 1997.

UW President Tom Buchanan and CSU President Tony Frank met in La Jolla, Calif., earlier this week at a gathering of Mountain West Conference university presidents.

The two presidents decided to move ahead with selling the ranch by sealed bid, possibly later this year, according to the two schools.

The woman who gave the ranch to the two schools, Denver philanthropist Amy Davis, has expressed regret that she donated the property, saying the gift hasn't seen enough use for hands-on agricultural education, as she intended.

Sale proceeds will help to fund scholarships in accordance with the gift agreement, Colorado State spokeswoman Emily Wilmsen said Wednesday.

"Sale of the Y Cross and the process behind it has stirred up so much community discussion that the presidents wanted to do one final meeting to ensure they were making the best decision for both universities," Wilmsen said by e-mail.

The schools will conduct an "open and transparent" sale process, she said, to attract as many potential buyers as possible.

"It's possible that process may be extended so we can maximize our proceeds to fund scholarships," she said.

The gift agreement allowed the ranch to be sold 14 years after Davis gave her family's property to the two schools.

Fourteen years passed last year and the two school foundations have been looking to put the ranch on the market this spring.

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