Discovery Center Receives $250,000 From Meadows Foundation

March 22, 2001

Baylor University's Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center, the centerpiece of the Sue and Frank Mayborn Natural Science and Cultural History Museum Complex, has received a $250,000 grant from The Meadows Foundation of Dallas. The gift will be used in general support of the $18 million project that will provide a world of learning comparable to nationally acclaimed museums.

"We are extremely grateful to The Meadows Foundation for its continuing support and for making this significant investment in the natural science and cultural history education of Texas children and their families," said Calvin Smith, director of the Mayborn Complex and chair of the department of museum studies.

The Meadows Foundation is a private philanthropic institution established in 1948 by Algur H. and Virginia Meadows. Its mission is to assist the people and institutions of Texas improve the quality and circumstances of life for themselves and future generations.

Since its inception, the foundation's assets have grown to a current value in excess of $850 million, and it has dispersed more than $430 million in grants and direct charitable expenditures to more than 2,000 Texas institutions and agencies. Foundation grants support work in the fields of arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, health and human services.

The Meadows Foundation has been an active supporter of Baylor's museum project for almost two decades. In 1984 it gave the first money for the schematic design for the new facility, and a 1987 grant assisted with preparation of the future building site, particularly providing underground utility access to the building site and a new parking area for future visitors to the complex. It also provided an endowment to the Strecker Museum for traveling exhibits.

The 95,000-square-foot Jeanes Discovery Center will be filled with hands-on exhibits and experiences for children and adults alike. 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 and the Permanent Exhibits Gallery.

In addition to the Jeanes Discovery Center, the Mayborn Museum Complex will include the Gov. Bill and Vara Daniel Historic Village, a turn-of-the-century riverfront community that provides a living history experience for visitors; the Environmental Experience, a nature trail that highlights flora and fauna found in the Brazos River Basin; and the Center for Museum Studies, which will provide academic facilities and laboratories for the department of museum studies at Baylor.

Construction on the Jeanes Discovery Center is anticipated to begin in August. Baylor officials estimate that the museum complex will attract several hundred thousand visitors annually.

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