ANNUAL REPORT 2010-2011
If “impact”was the Florida Museum of Natural History’s overall
theme this year, Museum donors responded in-kind with generous
gifts that will have significant immediate and future impact. Whether
“Faculty Now” initiative gifts to establish endowed chairs; “Legacy”
gifts to establish endowed research funds; important gifts of
private collections, or cash gifts to help support exhibits and public
programs, all will impact Museum faculty, staff and visitors.
In response to UF President Bernie Machen’s “Faculty Now”
initiative, which matches newly created faculty endowments with
an annual payment of 4 percent of the gift for three years, the
Museum received three deferred gifts to establish endowed chairs
in the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity. McGuire
Center Director Tom Emmel established the John F. Emmel Chair
in Lepidoptera in honor of his brother who lives in California;
John and Tom are writing what is likely to be the definitive text on
California butterflies. Renowned butterfly enthusiast and author
Gary Noel Ross also capitalized on this initiative with a two-part gift
to enhance the Museum’s ethnographic collections and establish
the Dr. Gary Noel Ross Chair in Lepidoptera. An anonymous friend
of the Museum used a bequest to establish an endowed chair in
Microlepidoptera Taxonomy. Funds from the “Faculty Now”match
will enhance current teaching and research opportunities, while
the endowments will provide reliable future funding.
The Museum also received a deferred gift from Suzanne Leahy
to establish an Ornithology endowment allowing students and
faculty to respond to immediate research opportunities. Leahy
worked closely with the Museum’s Natural History Department
to designate a gift that would be meaningful to her and also
useful to the department.
Dr. William and Nadine McGuire continued their generous support
of the Museum with another gift of specimens that adds more
breadth to the remarkable Lepidoptera collection. Bradley and
Rebecca Stirn also contributed a notable gift of butterfly specimens.
UF Student Government contributed $60,000 to help fund the
CSI: Crime Scene Insects
exhibit and related activities, providing free
admission to the fee-based exhibit for all UF students. The Toomey
Foundation for the Natural Sciences donated $30,000 to support a
temporary fossil display within the exhibit
Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway
opening in February 2012, that will bring dinosaurs back the Museum.
I.S.K and Sara Reeves continued their generous support with another
beautiful collection of Native American ethnographic material, and
Dr. Harry and Sarah Lee donated a collection of shells, continuing
their sponsorship of the Museum’s Malacology Division. Additional
notable gifts include support for the Discovery Room from the
Francis & Miranda Childress Foundation, and a unique gift to the
Florida Program for Shark Research of a flats boat from Hell’s Bay
Boatworks custom painted by Guy Harvey. The boat was proudly
featured in UF’s Homecoming Parade.
Museum membership continues to hold steady and saw an increase
. Membership offers great value and helps
support the Museum’s important work. The Museum Associates
Board hosted another highly successful Passport fundraiser, raising
more than $50,000 to support research, collections, education and
Passport to Cowboy Florida
Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition
temporary exhibit for a fun-filled country extravaganza!
The Museum is deeply indebted to its friends and supporters who
have given so generously of time, talent and treasure during this
difficult economic period. Private support has allowed the Museum to
continue to grow and strive to achieve impact. For more information
about opportunities to support the Museum, please contact Josh
McCoy in the Museum Development Office, 352-273-2086.
Doyle Rigdon, from left, Darcie MacMahon, Iris Wall and Chris Machen
celebrate the Members Preview of the Museum’s
and Florida Cowboys
exhibits. Rigdon and Wall shared cattle ranching
stories and poetry during opening day activities.