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Investing in

SCIENTIFIC WONDER

From its earliest days, the UW-Madison Geology Museum was a communal undertaking. The first UW Board of Regents meeting, in 1848, included a call to create “a geological and mineralogical cabinet of the various ores, rocks, fossils, &c., found within the state.” Madison resident H.A. Tenney took up the task and solicited donations in a letter to “friends of science and general education” in “every assembly district” across Wisconsin. Specimens soon started to pour in. And that legacy of generosity, of community contributions for the greater good of science and shared knowledge, continues today. The UW-Madison Geology Museum staff, from left: Assistant director Brooke Norsted, scientist David Lovelace, curator Carrie Eaton, and director Rich Slaughter. (Photo by Sarah Morton)

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“That is how the museum started, and that is how it has grown,” says Rich Slaughter, the museum’s gregarious director. But the museum’s most significant contribution of all time isn't a geological specimen. David (B.S.’75, MBA’78) and Sheryl Lesar have comm-

itted $2 million to support the museum’s mission and secure its future, as part of the All Ways Forward fundraising campaign. The gift establishes the Sherry Lesar Distinguished Chair of Geological Wonder, which Slaughter holds as museum director. But the Lesars’ intent is to support the entire museum staff – not just Slaughter, but assistant director Brooke Norsted (M.S.’03, Geology), curator Carrie Eaton (M.S.’04, Geology) and scientist David Lovelace (Ph.D.’12, Geoscience) – and allow even more community members to enjoy the museum. “Rich, Brooke, Carrie and Dave work tirelessly to excite future generations with the ‘wonder’ of geology,” says Sherry Lesar. “Rich’s enthusiasm for the museum is contagious — that’s obvious in any conversation you have with him. For Rich, geology is about a hands-on passion to share with others the amazing diversity of the planet on which we live. My motivation for giving this gift is to keep that passion alive.”

L&S Annual Review 2015-2016

L&S Annual Review, 2015-16  

The Annual Review for the College of Letters & Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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