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Discovery Fund

Discovery Fund

donateWhat does it take to inspire the next generation? From providing scholarships to making possible the next great scientific discoveries, your VMNH Discovery Fund contribution will help us expand science education, research and exhibits throughout the Commonwealth and beyond during the coming year!

Discovery Fund Giving Levels
Species: $1 - $40
Genus: $41 - $100
Family: $101 - $250
Order: $251 - $500
Class: $501 - $1,000
Phylum: $1,001 - $5,000
Kingdom: $5,000+

Your tax-deductible Discovery Fund contribution supports...

  • Globally significant research – Thanks to you, VMNH scientists and colleagues, along with student volunteers, are uncovering 14 million-year-old fossils from the Carmel Church site in Caroline County, the richest fossil deposit east of the Mississippi.
  • Hands-on education programs – Together with “at-the-museum” and outreach programs, you enable us to reach students across the Commonwealth through the Distance Learning program.
  • Exhibits at the museum and at sites statewide and beyond – Along with the Dinosaurs: Reign of the Giants exhibit now open, the Smithsonian exhibit Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants will open in December 2017 with your support.
  • Thomas Jefferson Awards – Your support will enable us to honor individuals and companies in Virginia for outstanding contributions to natural science and natural science education during our 31st annual awards on February 15, 2018 at the Library of Virginia.

With your support, we can continue inspiring the students of today who may become the scientists and leaders of tomorrow. Your donation of any amount is always appreciated. To learn more about how you can support VMNH, please contact us at information@vmnh.virginia.gov or 276-634-4163.


Joe B. Keiper, Ph.D., Executive Director
Ryan L. Barber, CFRE, Deputy Director

Recent accomplishments
These programs and initiatives are made possible with your support – Thank you!

Thanks to your Discovery Fund support…

  • 10,035 students and families took part in education programs led by scientists and educators at VMNH last year.
  • 14,283 people attended VMNH outreach activities across Virginia last year.
  • 13 articles in peer-reviewed journals were published by VMNH scientists, who presented their research at 14 conferences.
  • 229,799 individuals experienced on-site and off-site VMNH exhibits last year.
  • 530 species new to science have been named by VMNH scientists.
  • 10 million+ inventoried specimens comprise a growing collection that documents Virginia’s natural heritage.

Recent accomplishments:

  • Dinosaurs: Reign of the Giants opening - The special exhibit Dinosaurs: Reign of the Giants opened July 21, 2017 in conjunction with the Dino Festival.
  • Updates of our permanent exhibits - Many areas have received new specimens and artifacts, including Ice Age, Hahn Hall, How Nature Works, Lobby, Rock Garden.
  • New family fesivals - The first-ever Ice Age Festival was held January 21, 2017, with the Dragon Festival held June 17, 2017.
  • Record setting Dino Festival - More than 2,000 in attendance at the Dino Festival, July 21-22, 2017.
  • Launch of new and growth of existing science-based programming - Including Youth Curator Camp, Adult Curator Camp, hosting of Lynchburg Residential Governor’s School.

Annual Discovery Fund Donors

Kingdom ($5,001+)
Mr. and Mrs. George Adams, Jr.

Phylum ($1,001 - $5,000)
Hermes Family Foundation
Ms. Evalyn T. Chapman
Mr. and Mrs. George W. Lester
Mr. and Mrs. William F. Mayer

Class ($501 - $1,000)
Thermal Technologies, Inc.
Groves/Chaney Foundation
Shenandoah Furniture, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. William T. Baggerly
Mr. and Mrs. J. Smith Chaney
Dr. and Mrs. Donald R. Holsinger
Col. and Mrs. R. Gene Smith

Order ($251 - $500)
Berry Elliott Realtors
Mrs. Doris H. Berry
Dr. Barry M. Dorsey
Mr. Irving M. Groves, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin B. Handy
Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Keyes
Mr. Courtland Lyle
Mrs. Langhorne S. Mauck
Hon. and Mrs. William F. Stone

Family ($101 - $250)
Dr. Stermer & Dr. Allaman
Snyder Orthodontics
AXA Foundation
Dr. Caren Aaron and Mr. Darren Aaron
Mrs. Nancy L. Baker
Mr. and Mrs. T. G. Balabanis
Mr. & Mrs. Ryan Barber
Dr. Charles S. Bartlett
Dr. LeAnn Binger and Mr. Rob Binger
Mr. and Mrs. Peter L. Boisseau
Mr. Worth H. Carter, Jr.
Ms. Gail Clark
Ms. Sandra Coleman
Mr. and Mrs. Gary W. Collins
Mr. and Mrs. Luther Ensminger
Mr. and Mrs. Francis F. Falls
Dr. and Mrs. Charles Jenkins
Dr. Joe Keiper
Dr. and Mrs. David H. Lewis
Mr. John C. Matthews
Mr. and Mrs. Paul May
Mr. and Dr. Monty Montgomery
Mr. and Mrs. Coy M. Park, Jr.
Marie Ramsey
Honorable W. Roscoe Reynolds
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Rogers
Mr. and Mrs. Larry Ryder
Mr. and Mrs. James W. Severt
Dr. and Mrs. Arthur M. Sleeper
Dr. and Mrs. Edward P. Snyder
Mr. and Mrs. Guy P. Stanley
Ms. Ellen Thomason
Mr. and Mrs. Dennis H. Treacy
Dr. Mary M. Voigt
John Walker and Susan Frith
Dr. and Mrs. Michael Wenkstern

Genus ($41 - $100)
Fontaine Ruritan Club
Mr. C. Reed Anderson, Jr.
Dr. and Mrs. Thomas R. Benzing
Mr. David Bettinger
Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert C. Brittle, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. William Dent
Mr. and Mrs. John H. Dyches
Drs. Paul and Margie Eason
Dr. Ralph P. Eckerlin
Dr. and Mrs. Oliver S. Flint, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. James Gillespie
Mr. and Mrs. Steven Gould
Mr. and Mrs. Matthew H. Hammack
Dr. John W. Happ
Mr. and Mrs. Darryl Holland
Mr. and Mrs. L. Randolph Isley
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Ivey
Mr. and Mrs. Barry Jarrett
Mrs. Cecilia Johnson
Dr. and Mrs. Mervyn R. King
Mr. and Mrs. John Kinkema
Ms. Dianna Krejsa
Mr. and Mrs. Ward Littlefield
Mrs. V. Carole Lougheed
Robert C. Milici PhD
Mrs. Betty Carr Muse
Mr. and Mrs. James O'Brien
Ms. Edwina H. Pancake
Mr. and Mrs. Brian G. Preston
Dr. and Mrs. Clarence L. Reaser
Mr. and Mrs. Bill Romig
Mr. William J. Sydor
Mr. Zachary S. Ryder
Ms. Julie H. Thomas
Mr. and Mrs. James Tobin
Ms. Katherine A. Turk
Mr. and Mrs. Will Vaughn
Dr. and Mrs. John R. Wheless
Ms. Ellen Wood

Species ($1 - $40)
Southern Virginia Properties
Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence Stilwell Betts
Mr. Peter Blake and Mrs. Mary Blanchard
Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Brown
Honorable and Mrs. Robert L. Bushnell
Ms. Beverly Cooper
Ms. Mary Elmahmoud
Mr. Tom Eplett
Mr. and Mrs. Pete Epperly
Mr. James E. Fetter
Mr. James C. Firebaugh, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Walter W. Flythe
Mr. Curt Harden
Mr. and Mrs. Donald R. Hodges
Mr. Bradley T. Johnson
Dr. & Mrs. Michael Kosztarab
Mr. and Mrs. William Lantz
Ms. Leslie Mehring
Ms. Sara Morgan
Drs. David & Susan Morris
Ms. Marsha Nance
Mrs. Anita Priddy
Mr. and Mrs. Chet Pritchett
Ms. Letisha Pulliam
Dr. William Schmachtenberg
Mr. Rayburn Smith
Mr. and Mrs. Steve Soots
Mrs. Kathryn V. Sparrow
Mr. and Mrs. Dwight A. Stultz
Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Vogler
Ms. Sabra Whitener
Mr. James H. Wilson
Ms. Janice E. Woodard
Ms. Anne Wright
Dr. and Mrs. Steven M. Yellin