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Natural History Collections Endowment Meets Fundraising Goal

February 01, 2018

The Angelo State University Biology Department’s Terry C. Maxwell Endowment in Natural History has reached its long-term fundraising goal of $100,000 following a recent final push for donations and a matching pledge from an anonymous benefactor.

Angelo State Natural History Collections LogoOn Jan. 15, the endowment stood about $15,000 away from reaching fully-funded status, and an anonymous donor pledged to match all new donations up to $7,500 to help reach the $100,000 goal by Jan. 31. The ASU Office of Development and Department of Biology announced Feb. 1 that close to $8,000 in donations was raised from Jan. 15-31, and coupled with the $7,500 anonymous matching donation, has pushed the Maxwell Endowment past the $100,000 mark and into fully-funded status. 

Funded completely by private donations, the Maxwell Endowment will now begin to generate funds to support activities associated with the Angelo State Natural History Collections (ASNHC), including student and faculty research projects and curating and maintaining the collections. 

Dr. Russell WilkeDr. Russell Wilke“This is extremely exciting news for the ASNHC,” said Dr. Russell Wilke, interim Biology Department chair. “It was Dr. Maxwell’s lifelong dream to see this fundraising goal realized. We’ll now be able to develop the collections into an independent entity that will enhance research, teaching and outreach opportunities for ASU students and faculty, the Concho Valley and the greater scientific community. We want to sincerely thank the anonymous donor and everyone who made a contribution to help make this possible.”  

The ASNHC contains more than 150,000 preserved specimens of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and plants from the Concho Valley, other regions of Texas, many other states, Mexico, Africa, Asia, Australia and even the Galápagos Islands. The collections aid student and faculty research projects, are used as teaching tools, and have been viewed by thousands of K-12 students through special guided tours. 

In 2012, ASU was awarded a $480,865 grant from the National Science Foundation to modernize and digitize the ASNHC and make all the specimens available to researchers and educators around the globe on worldwide online databases. The project was completed in July 2016. 

In 2017, the ASNHC Endowment was renamed the Terry C. Maxwell Endowment in Natural History in honor of Dr. Terry Maxwell, ASU professor of biology emeritus and long-time curator of the ASNHC’s Ornithology Collection, who passed away in April 2017. 

Additional donations to the Maxwell Endowment can be made online or by contacting the ASU Office of Development at 325-942-2116 or

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