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 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, 2019 - August 28, 2019

Col and Mrs. R. Gene Smith

Thermal Technologies, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. William T. Baggerly
Mr. and Mrs. J. Smith Chaney
Ms. Evalyn T. Chapman
Dr. Barry M. Dorsey

Dr. Barry M. Dorsey
Mrs. Susan Frith
Dr. and Mrs. Mervyn R. King
Honorable W. Roscoe Reynolds

Mr. and Mrs. Roy Binger
Ms. Stacy Lewis
Dr. and Mrs. Edward P. Snyder
Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Wilson

Drs. Paul and Margie Eason
Mr. and Mrs. William Lantz
Mr. and Mrs. Henry L. Mitchell, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Will Vaughn

Ms. Shirley T. Arnold
Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Davis
Ms. Elizabeth Harris
Mr. and Mrs. Donald R. Hodges
Ms. Margaret Merrill
Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Mills

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