The Arizona Desert Lamp

Privately Funded, Publicly Provided: The Mineral Museum

Posted in Campus by Evan Lisull on 1 July 2009

Remember when President Shelton singled out the UA Mineral Museum for cuts in this press release? Thanks to private industry, the gem of the UA’s museum outreach efforts will remain for now:

The University of Arizona Mineral Museum will continue to be open to the public due to the generous financial assistance of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation and an anonymous donor. The museum, located inside Flandrau: The UA Science Center, will be open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. for field trips by reservation only.

. . .

Former president and chief operating officer of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Timothy R. Snider, said, “Our relationship with the UA goes back a long, long time – back to the origins of both our institutions – and we are honored to provide support in several ways. This gift will help to create an environment for the public to become more informed about natural resources.”

To elaborate on Snider’s point, here’s a passage from The Lamp in the Desert on the first time Big Mineral gave the university a helping hand, back around the turn of the twentieth century:

Probably to Barnsfeld’s surprise, the shot paid off a year later when Dr. James Douglas, on behalf of the Copper Queen Company, gave the University $10,000 with instructions to use the income in the purchase of instruments for scientific research of special equipment necessary for the proper instruction of students in the department of mineralogy and the School of Mines. So far as available records show, this was the first research grant made to the University. [emphasis added – EML]

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