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Science Museum of Minnesota given record, $2 million endowment to study birds

The gift came from an Illinois couple.
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The Science Museum of Minnesota is celebrating after receiving an endowed gift that it says the largest in its history.

The St. Paul museum has been given a $2 million gift by Roger and Barbara Brown of Highland Park, Illinois, to be used for the study of birds.

The money will see the creation of a new position in its science division, called the Barbara Brown Chair of Ornithology.

The new chair will be tasked with expanding the museum's bird collection, conducting research and fieldwork and working across departments on exhibits at the museum.

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Barbara Brown is a former scientific associate at The Field Museum in Chicago, where she worked for 47 years, and has been a regular visitor to the Science Museum of Minnesota.

The Browns' daughter and two grandchildren are Minneapolis residents, and their links to the museum grew when their second son Owen recently relocated to the Twin Cites.

That's because his wife, Alison Rempel Brown, became president and CEO of the Science Museum in 2016.

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