M.D. Anderson Foundation Donates $100,000 To Mayborn Museum Complex

Feb. 28, 2001

Baylor University's Sue and Frank Mayborn Natural Science and Cultural History Museum Complex has received a $100,000 grant from the M.D. Anderson Foundation to fund the Natural History Exploration Station within the Permanent Exhibits Gallery at the Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center.

"The Natural History Exploration Station will be one of the strongest educational elements in the new facility," said Calvin Smith, director of the Mayborn Museum Complex and chair of the department of museum studies. "It will be a very diverse, exciting place where people will be able to handle specimens and delve deeper into various subjects through the use of technology."

Emphasizing the sense of touch, five exploration stations will be located within the Permanent Exhibits Gallery. Visitors will be encouraged to discover more about archaeology, geology, history, natural history and paleontology. The Natural History Exploration Station, which will serve as a laboratory for comparative anatomy classes, will feature specimens from primates to elephants. Range maps, birth cycles, age spans, habitat preferences, predator/prey relationships, environmental stresses and encroachment by human expansion will be available on touch screen format for each species.

The exploration station also will have a window that looks into the museum's animal holding area. This window will allow visitors to see the "Living Museum," where live organisms to be used in the "Critter of the Month" exhibits and the Cave, Prairie and Forest Experience Modules will be housed and nurtured.

"We will have fish, reptiles, amphibians and maybe even a prairie dog or two in the Living Museum. So there will be lots of activity that museum visitors can see," Smith said.

Founded in 1936 by Houston businessman Monroe D. Anderson, the M.D. Anderson Foundation has become well-known for the benefits it affords those in need, mainly in health care, but the organization has made grants to many charitable and educational institutions, totaling more than $120 million.

The M.D. Anderson Foundation has been an active supporter of Baylor University, providing generous support to the Baylor Law School, as well as to the university's art and theater departments. In 1991, the foundation gave $100,000 to Baylor's Strecker Museum to support costs involved in the design and development stages of the new museum complex.

The 95,000-square-foot Jeanes Discovery Center will be filled with hands-on exhibits and experiences for children and adults alike. In addition to the Permanent Exhibits Gallery, major components will include the Thomas E. and Emilyne W. Anding Exhibitions Gallery, The Children's World, the Southwestern Bell Discovery Theater, the AT&T Information Centers, the Doug and Ellen Miller Gallery of Wildlife Art.

Groundbreaking ceremonies on the Jeanes Discovery Center were held in January with actual construction slated to begin this summer. Currently, more than $14 million has been raised toward the $18 million project.

For more information, contact Smith at (254) 710-1233.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?