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January 17, 2000

Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab dedicated in honor of donors

By Tim Stephens

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center, a new public education center at Long Marine Laboratory, was formally dedicated in a ceremony to honor the donors on Saturday, January 15. The event included a dedication ceremony, a ribbon cutting, and a reception inside the Seymour Center.

Photo of H. Boyd Seymour Jr.
H. Boyd Seymour Jr., in front of the newly constructed Seymour Center, donated the $2 million cornerstone gift (more photos).
Photo: r.r. jones
H. Boyd Seymour Jr. and his family were guests of honor at the dedication ceremony in recognition of their $2 million cornerstone gift. Private donations funded nearly all of the Seymour Center's $6.25 million cost. Seymour chose to name the center in honor of his father, Harry Boyd Seymour (1896-1977), and his grandfather, Arthur McArthur Seymour (1864-1919). Both men graduated from UC Berkeley and were prominent attorneys in Sacramento.

Participants in the dedication ceremony included Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood; Leon Panetta, former chief of staff under President Clinton and a trustee of the UC Santa Cruz Foundation; John Simpson, executive vice chancellor and campus provost; Paul Irwin, president of the UC Santa Cruz Foundation; and Robert Stephens, owner of Elkhorn Native Plant Nursery and former cochair of the capital campaign committee.

"The three components of our mission at UC Santa Cruz--teaching, research, and public service--all come together at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center," Greenwood said. "It is a marvelous facility for the public education program at Long Marine Laboratory and a wonderful resource for the community. Building this new center was indeed a community effort, and I am grateful to all those who helped make the Seymour Marine Discovery Center a reality."

Gary Griggs, director of the Institute of Marine Sciences, served as master of ceremonies at the dedication. In his remarks, Griggs emphasized the role of the Seymour Center as a resource for educating the public about marine science.

"It's critical that we explain to our children and the public what we have discovered about the oceans and what it means if we are to sustain ourselves on this planet," Griggs said.

Numerous individuals and foundations made significant gifts to help fund the Seymour Center, including the J. M. Long Foundation, Emmet and Leanore Hooper, Paul and Anne Irwin, David and Rebecca Kashtan, the Kresge Foundation, Anne and Paul Levin, Zoe Ann Orr Marcus, Frances McAllister, the Moore Family Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Simpkins family, Richard and Mary Solari, Robert Stephens and Julie Packard, the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation, and the Dean Witter Foundation.

The dedication ceremony does not mark the opening of the Seymour Center. Staff continue to put the finishing touches on the center and are finalizing the education programs in preparation for a public Grand Opening celebration on the weekend of March 11 and 12.

"With great excitement, the Seymour Marine Discovery Center opens its doors on March 11 to visitors from around the world, and around the corner," said the center's director Julie Barrett Heffington. "We hope all who visit leave with a better understanding of marine science, and perhaps look more carefully at the world around them, test their own ideas, and ask intriguing questions."

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