OtterBox co-founders donate $8.1 million toward new design center

Katie Linenberger

Curt and Nancy Richardson, co-founders of Otter Box and Blue Ocean Enterprises, donated $8.1 million dollars to Colorado State University to build a design center on campus.

Nancy and Curt Richardson, the creators of Otterbox, have donated 8.1 Million dollars to CSU to aid in building the Richardson Design Center. (Ryan Arb | Collegian)

The Richardson Design Center, named after the donors, will be built east of the new stadium on Lake Street.


“The Richardson’s envision the Design Center to provide space that will be available to all disciplines and gives faculty and students an opportunity to examine design theory in an exciting, hands-on approach,” wrote Annie LilyBlade, Interior Design Team Manager in an Email to the Collegian. “It will offer labs and workspace that enables students to unleash their creativity and passion, while collaborating with fellow designers.

The center is projected to be completed by January 2019, according to the CSU Design and Merchandising website.

Richardson Design Center will give students, faculty, and the community the opportunity to design, learn and engage with each other.

The design center will cost $16.5 million to complete. After the Richardson donations, the rest of the money will be collected through fundraisers. CSU is also offering groups and individuals who are interested in design the chance to name some of the rooms that will be in the building.

Nancy Richardson earned her interior design degree in 1982 from CSU. Occasionally, she is a guest speaker on campus about interior design. However, her education was not the only way in which she is involved with Fort Collins.

Nancy’s husband, Curt, founded OtterBox which has its headquarters in Fort Collins. OtterBox is well known for their protective phone cases for smartphones and tablets.

“We grow to give,” the mission statement on the OtterBox website says.

Nancy is the founder of the OtterCares Foundation. The OtterCares Foundation is the charity branch for the OtterBox company, according to the Blue Ocean Enterprise website. Their mission is to inspire youth to become entrepreneurs and make an impact in their communities.

The Blue Ocean Enterprise, located in Fort Collins, gets involved with the community by creating jobs through business investments and by improving the community through real estate investments, according to the Blue Ocean Enterprise website.