Yale University has announced a $160 million lead gift from alumnus Edward P. Bass ('67) in support of the Peabody Museum of Natural History.
The largest known gift ever made to a natural history museum in the United States will help fund renovations and an expansion of the museum, which has operated in its current location since 1925. Founded in 1866, the museum is among the oldest and largest university-based natural history museums in the country and has enjoyed worldwide recognition for its dinosaur fossils, mammal displays, minerals, and anthropology collections. The planned renovation will capture more space by building into an interior courtyard and loading dock and opening part of the lower level to public use, creating new areas for research and study while increasing the museum's exhibition footprint by 50 percent. To better facilitate public outreach programs, the renovated museum will include a large central gallery, a lower-level lobby that can accommodate large groups, and classrooms for schoolchildren.
Among the university's most generous donors, Bass previously endowed the directorship of the Peabody, has provided other funding for the museum, and supported the strategic development of the university's campus, with a focus on Science Hill. He serves on the Architecture Dean's Council and the Peabody Leadership Council, is a former co-chair of the Yale Development Council, and is a former senior fellow of the Yale board of trustees.
"I am deeply grateful to Ed Bass for a gift that will transform the Peabody," said Yale University president Peter Salovey. "Imagine an expanded natural history museum where the exhibits reflect the most current science; where faculty members and students can more efficiently use the collections; and where our investigators have spectacular research facilities. This is a magnificent gift."
"Yale's reputation for leadership in the sciences is grounded historically in the Peabody Museum, founded a hundred and fifty-two years ago," said Bass. "This renovation and expansion will enhance every aspect of the Peabody, bringing it up to date and preparing it for the future. We will have 50 percent more gallery space, cutting-edge exhibits, and the ability to put the extraordinarily rich collection not only on view for the public, but also in the hands of researchers and students alike."
(Image credit: Yale University)