We thank all our planned–gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.
Like the Space Age, the Information Age transformed the way people thought about and interacted with science in their everyday lives. In the 1970s, just as the Museum was getting established, a group of computer “early adopters” held their regular meetings at the Museum. One of them began volunteering, as well. “Early pre-Windows software programs didn’t talk with each other, and users needed to swap ways to get programs to work together,” explains Bill Slaughter. So I began coming to the Museum both for user group meetings and as a volunteer to answer visitor questions about the exhibits and to demonstrate various scientific theories and laws.”
“I quickly realized that this place is not a traditional museum, with precious collections that no-one touches, but instead is a hands-on place of learning, where people interact with the exhibits, volunteers, and with each other. For me, the Museum became a place to pursue an interest in electronics I had developed in the Army.”
“Recently, my wife and I were reviewing our financial plans. We reflected on how relevant the Museum is to community needs, reinforcing the schools’ emphasis on science and technology. What better way to attract students to STEM study than experiences like the ones the Museum offers? “
“We had an ‘old’ insurance policy from when our children were young. We gave it to the Museum for a nice tax deduction. Now, the Museum can either hold the policy to receive the ultimate benefit, or cash in the policy today. Either way the Museum’s endowment will benefit.”
Carol Y. "Cy" St. Clair taught elementary school math and science for 20 years and remembers how the Science Museum began small, just as ancient redwoods do. "Bringing busloads of students to the Museum enabled me to see it grow with time. The Science Museum of Virginia enriches our students in ways the schools cannot. It is a vital part of science education," she says.
As an educator and Museum volunteer through its Liaison Committee, Cy wants people to experience all the Museum has to offer, from its awe–inspiring architecture to interaction with its capable staff. "Walking into the Museum's Rotunda is like a stroll among the redwoods," she declares.
"The Museum is like family, so it was natural for me to include it in my estate planning," Cy said. "What worked best for me was leaving my IRA to the Museum. Leaving an IRA to anyone other than a spouse can get complicated, but giving it to the Museum is easy – you can avoid taxes and help a great place. I can think of a no more appropriate way to support the future of the Science Museum than with a bequest to fund the educational programs of this magnificent institution."
Every redwood starts small. Cy St. Clair's visionary gift will grow even greater with time.