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Museum marks progress with note-burning ceremony
George Lester (from left), Worth Carter and Lee Lester lead a note-burning ceremony Monday at the Virginia Museum of Natural History. The ceremony marked the museum’s paying off a $4-million loan it took out in 2005 to further its exhibits. (Contributed photo)
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
The Virginia Museum of Natural History held a ceremonial note-burning on Monday, signaling the completion of the $4 million phase of the Making a Lasting Impression Capital Campaign.
The museum took out a $4-million loan in 2005 to help support the capital campaign, which funds the museum’s permanent exhibit galleries, specifically Uncovering Virginia, the George and Lee Lester How Nature Works galleries, and exhibit elements of the museum’s Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont Great Hall, a news release stated. The note burning symbolized the paying off of the debt.
“This symbolizes a great success made possible by all museum supporters,” said Dr. Joe B. Keiper, executive director of VMNH, in the release. “With this, we will continue to pursue great work in exhibits, education and research of our natural resources.”
The final $1 million of the $5 million campaign will be used to build an endowment for the museum. The endowment will fund upkeep, maintenance and future updates to the exhibit galleries.
“Reaching this milestone is as much of a celebration of the museum’s future, as it is a celebration of what we’ve already accomplished,” said Ryan Barber, interim director of development for the museum, in the release.
“An endowment will better secure the museum’s financial future and allow the museum to constantly improve our visitors’ experiences,” Barber added.
Since the campaign was launched in 2005, the museum has added two permanent exhibit galleries: the Hahn Hall of Biodiversity and the Hooker Furniture Discovery Reef.
Both galleries opened in August 2010, and were funded through other donations and museum funds.
“Throughout the campaign, the museum has strived to continuously improve the visitor experience with more specimens to see and new galleries to experience,” Keiper said in the release. “Today, our vision for the future of the museum is even brighter.”