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Discovery Fund

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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 is now due to Discovery Fund 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 32nd annual awards on March 21, 2019 at Natural Bridge State Park.

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.

Discovery Fund Donors

July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018

Mr. and Mrs. George Adams, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Vincent C. Stone

Hermes Family Foundation
Dr. and Mrs. Donald Holsinger
Mr. and Mrs. George W. Lester
Mr. and Mrs. William F. Mayer
Col. And Mrs. R. Gene Smith

Thermal Technologies, Inc.
Groves/Chaney Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. William T. Baggerly
Dr. Mary Hardy Betterton
Mr. and Mrs. J. Smith Chaney
Ms. Evalyn T. Chapman
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Ivey

Irving and Jett Groves Foundation
Mrs. Doris H. Berry
Mr. and Mrs. Gary W. Collins
Dr. Barry Dorsey
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin B. Handy
Mrs. Langhorne S. Mauck
Ms. Edwina H. Pancake
Hon. And Mrs. William F. Stone
Ms. Ellen Thomason

AXA Foundation
Dr. Caren Aaron and Mr. Darren Aaron
Mrs. Nancy L. Baker
Dr. and Mrs. Thomas R. Benzing
Mr. and Mrs. Roy Binger
Mr. and Mrs. Peter L. Boisseau
Ms. Gail Clark
Ms. Sandra Coleman
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Cooper
Mr. and Mrs. Ben J. Davenport, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Steve Edgerton
Mr. and Mrs. Luther Ensminger
Mr. and Mrs. Francis F. Falls
Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Holland
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Huckfeldt
Dr. and Mrs. Charles Jenkins
Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Keyes
Dr. and Mrs. Mervyn King
Dr. and Mrs. David H. Lewis
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Margrave
Mr. and Mrs. Paul May
Mr. and Mrs. Monty Montgomery
Honorable W. Roscoe Reynolds
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Rogers
Mr. and Mrs. Larry Ryder
Mr. Zachary S. Ryder
Dr. and Mrs. Arthur M. Sleeper
Dr. and Mrs. Edward P. Snyder
Mr. and Mrs. Guy P. Stanley
Mr. C. Kent Titus
John Walker and Susan Frith
Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Wilson

Southern Virginia Properties
T. R. Properties, Inc.
Mr. C. Reed Anderson, Jr.
Ms. Sally Anderson
Mr. and Mrs. T. G. Balabanis
Mr. and Mrs. William Dent
Mr. and Mrs. John H. Dyches
Drs. Paul and Margie Eason
Dr. Ralph P. Eckerlin
Dr. and Mrs. Arthur V. Evans
Mr. and Mrs. James Gillespie
Dr. John W. Happ
Mr. F. Staley Hester, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. L. Randolph Isley
Mr. and Mrs. Barry Jarrett
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. Jessee
Dr. and Mrs. Hubert E. Kiser, Jr.
Dr. Bris C. Kondratieff
Mr. and Mrs. William Lantz
Ms. Janet Lemmer
Mr. and Mrs. Matthew McKinney
Mr. and Mrs. Claude W. McMillan
Mr. and Mrs. William B. Moore, Jr.
Ms. Melissa D. Neff
Mr. and Mrs. James O'Brien
Ms. Latala Payne Hodges
Dr. and Mrs. Duncan M. Porter
Mrs. Anita Priddy
Dr. and Mrs. Clarence L. Reaser
Mr. and Mrs. Bill Romig
Dr. and Mrs. James Rountree, Sr.
Mr. and Mrs. James W. Severt
Mr. J. Randolph Smith, Jr.
Mrs. Nancy U. Stanley
Ms. Julie H. Thomas
Mr. and Mrs. James Tobin
Mr. and Mrs. Will Vaughn
Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Vogler
Ms. Ellen Wood
Ms. Anne B. Wright

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Ashby
Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence Stilwell Betts
Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Bushnell
Mrs. Ruth Dandridge
Mr. Robert Daniel
Mr. and Mrs. Pete Epperly
Mr. James E. Fetter
Mr. and Mrs. Walter W. Flythe
Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Globman
Mrs. Dean M. Hanby
Mrs. V. Carole Lougheed
Mr. Julien B. McCarthy and Ms. Judith A. Pace
Ms. Leslie Mehring
Robert C. Milici, Ph.D.
Drs. David and Susan Morris
Mrs. Lisa Perez
Dr. William Schmachtenberg
Mrs. Kathryn V. Sparrow
Mr. Danny W. Stevens
Mr. and Mrs. Dwight A. Stultz
Mrs. Carolyn D. Turner
Dr. and Mrs. Max F. Wingett
Ms. Janice E. Woodard
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Worley

Discovery Fund Donors

July 1, 2018 - September 11, 2018

Mr. and Mrs. Vincent C. Stone

Ms. Evalyn Chapman
Edwina Pancake

Ms. Molly Adams
Dr. and Mrs. Paul Eason

Ms. Karen Butler
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Lengel
Ms. Margaret Merrill
Mr. Matthew Miller
Mr. and Mrs. Sean Morrison
Ms. Margaret Smith