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Gift establishes Biodiversity Institute directorship at KU

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

LAWRENCE — An anonymous donor has committed $900,000 to endow the directorship for the Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas. The donor has contributed $300,000 to establish the fund through KU Endowment and has pledged to contribute the balance over several years.

The directorship fund will provide resources for the director to advance the collection, research and educational programs of the Biodiversity Institute and museum. The donor’s goal is to support the research that the Biodiversity Institute staff does all over the world.

“The donor has been inspired by Kris Krishtalka’s leadership of the Biodiversity Institute and museum and wishes for this fund to play a pivotal role in their future success,” said Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment.

Leonard "Kris" Krishtalka, who has led the institute and museum since 1995, will retire at the end of this year, KU announced today.

The recipient of the directorship will oversee the institute’s 13 research divisions and 120 scientists, graduate students and staff, as well as research collections of more than 10 million specimens of animals, plants and fossils and 1.2 million archaeological artifacts.

Along with the Hall Center for the Humanities, the Spencer Museum of Art and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the Biodiversity Institute is a partner in The Commons at KU, an environment for interdisciplinary inquiry and unconventional thinking across the sciences, arts and humanities for the university and larger communities.