Hugh and Mary Rose P'82
Hugh and Mary Rose had chemistry. That much is evidenced by their joint love of science and 58-year marriage, a union that began when the two met as physics students in the nuclear physics research laboratory at the University of Michigan. Forging their passions, the Roses pursued a lifetime of scientific inquiry— Hugh through his work in engineering, management and medical research and Mary through research efforts in chemistry, physics and medicine. When they sought to impart their enthusiasm for science on school-age children they chose a discipline with a reputation for inspiring youngsters: paleontology.
Much like Ray Alf, Mary and Hugh collected fossils and taught paleontology out of the basement of their Peoria, Illinois, home. As their collection and reputations grew, they became acquainted with the “little museum on the hill.” Hugh was invited to evaluate the Alf collection in the 1970s and began a productive and supportive tenure at the Alf Museum and The Webb Schools that continued for decades. Hugh was a founding member of the Alf Museum board and Hugh and Mary’s son, Dr. Matthew Rose, is a member of the class of ’82 and their daughter, Mary, also serves on the museum board.
Hugh Rose described the Alf Museum as “the most unique and wonderful teaching situation any secondary school could ever have.” In 1995, the Roses donated their extensive fossil collection to the Alf Museum, including an Oviraptor dinosaur egg from Mongolia (Hugh helped organize Webb’s first Mongolia peccary trip), and a skull cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex found in eastern Montana.
Understanding that a museum needs more than fossils to be viable, the Roses have also been generous financial supporters. They established an enduring legacy: a Charitable Remainder Trust that will fund the Hugh & Mary Rose Endowment for the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology. The Roses funded their gift with appreciated stock and were thus able to avoid paying immediate capital gains tax and to convert an illiquid asset into a lifetime income. Their gift established a permanent source of revenue for the museum, helping to ensure that generations of students will enjoy what the Roses consider to be “a life experience that can be acquired nowhere else.”
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