Former Chancellor Park Contributes $100,000 To CU-Boulder

Published: Dec. 9, 1997

Former CU-Boulder Chancellor Roderic Park and his wife, Cathy, have contributed $100,000 to create renovated space on campus for the University of Colorado Museum, current Chancellor Richard L. Byyny, reported today. Park served as chancellor from August 1994 through January 1997.

Dr. Byyny said the former Geology Building would be the new site for the museum’s collections of natural history and anthropology. The Laboratory of Plant Systematics and Evolution will bear the names of Roderic and Catherine Park.

“I’m very pleased that a former chancellor of the Boulder campus has come forward with this very generous gift in support of our Total Learning Environment Campaign,” said John C. Buechner, CU’s president. “We are fortunate that someone who performed a leadership role on the campus continues to maintain strong ties with the university.”

Park, a plant biologist, said he and his wife, Cathy, feel that the “unique location and history of CU-Boulder speaks to the past, present and future of the West -- its resources, economics, social history, art and natural beauty. Western studies are a major strength of this university, and its museum is the central physical manifestation of this scholarship.”

The former Geology Building on campus will be renovated to house museum collections and laboratories for research and teaching of Museum and Field Studies. The geological sciences department is currently in the process of relocating from the old facility to the new Benson Earth Sciences Building, dedicated in October.

The museum’s collections of natural history and anthropology specimens are in need of space for preservation as well as hands-on learning. This new space will provide greater opportunities for inquiry by students, curators, faculty and scholars from outside the community.

CU-Boulder’s Museum and Field Studies program is an interdisciplinary course of study leading to a master’s degree. It is tailored through internships and practica to meet the needs of individual students who eventually work in museums and public-private agencies concerned with natural and cultural resources, Byyny said.

Bruce Benson, chairman of CU’s Campaign for the Total Learning Environment, said, “A gift commitment from the former chancellor of CU-Boulder is a true testament to the fundamental quality of the institution. Now, in this early stage of the campaign, we’re thrilled to see such generosity from Rod and Cathy Park.”