Planned Giving

Donor Stories

Strange and Powerful Creatures: A Gift to the Dinosaur Institute

Photo of Carl and Lynn Cooper
Carl and Lynn Cooper

Native Angeleno Carl W. Cooper remembers his first childhood visit to the Natural History Museum as "a bewilderment—because of the grandeur of the displays." Now, as donors to the Museum's Dinosaur Institute, Carl and his wife Lynn (also born in Los Angeles) are helping a new generation of children learn about the Museum as "a storehouse of knowledge of what our world is about."

Both Lynn and Carl went to USC—she to study art and he to study business—so they’ve been close to the Museum throughout their lives. Lynn taught high school art and has created the pen-and-ink drawings of Pasadena Showcase Houses for the last 19 years. Carl received an MBA from USC and owns Omega Management in Pasadena, where they now live.

Several years ago Alliance members Shirley and Gene Hoggatt took the Coopers to the Dinosaur Ball, and they’ve been going ever since. In 2003 they became Fellows and enjoyed meeting paleontologist Luis Chiappe for a tour of the Vertebrate Paleontology Lab. Carl and Lynn are great admirers of Luis, so when he became director of the new Dinosaur Institute they were among the first to honor him with a gift of $25,000. Carl feels that "everyone from eight to eighty is fascinated by these strange and powerful creatures," so he and Lynn are delighted to support the Institute's expeditions, fossil preparation, education, and research through their unrestricted gift.

But dinosaurs are not the only reason the Coopers love the Natural History Museum. They are also fond of the dioramas, the education programs, and pretty much "everything." They see the Museum as an important institution, providing understanding for the people of Southern California, and "one of the crown jewels of Los Angeles County."

The Hildegarde Howard Society is named in honor of one of the Museum's most beloved scientists, Dr. Hildegarde Howard (1901-1998). Her legacy of scholarship and exploration is carried on through the gifts of the Society. For more information on planned-giving opportunities at the Museum, please call Nicole Dunn, senior major gifts officer, at (213) 763-3355.


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