Legacy Society for Donors to the National Museum of Natural History
The Smithsonian Legacy Society is a visionary group of philanthropists who share a love of learning and a commitment to the future of the Smithsonian Institution. As often as possible, they get together to share stories and learn more about particular institutional endeavors. You will be welcomed into the Society when you inform us of your plans through a letter of intent. We look forward to thanking you today for your future gift.
You are free to decline recognition, and there is no obligation to attend our gatherings, but we hope you will enjoy some or all of the benefits, which include:
- A Smithsonian Legacy Society pin to remind you that you will forever play a role in the life of the Smithsonian and its mission.
- Knowing that you are investing in an enduring institution that increases understanding by preserving our nation’s heritage, advancing scientific discovery, and creating significant exhibition for ages to come.
- Recognition in the Smithsonian’s annual report and other Legacy Society listings.
- Invitations to the Annual Smithsonian Weekend and the Smithsonian Legacy Society Luncheon.
- Invitation to the Directors Discovery Series at the National Museum of Natural History.
- Opportunities to join your fellow Legacy Society members for unique travel opportunities that offer you behind-the-scenes perspective and updates on Smithsonian research and programs.
- Enjoying the company of key staff, volunteers, and other Society members.
Patricia and David Jernigan
Smithsonian Legacy Society—National Museum of Natural History
What is the difference between a vexing gridlock and a vast labyrinth of discovery? Often, it is perspective.
When looking to retire, Pat and David Jernigan contemplated the traffic, red tape and expense of living in Washington, DC. But they also considered the city's rich culture, and the Smithsonian was a major draw. "We have enjoyed and appreciated the work of the Smithsonian and the National Museum of Natural History," said Pat, "and we feel compelled to give back, both on a continuing basis and through our bequest."
As members of the Leadership Circle at the National Museum of Natural History, the Jernigans have appreciated after-hour tours and talks by world experts. Recently, a curator shared how life in one cubic foot can capture enough variation to explore entire ecosystems. "Smithsonian scientists' enthusiasm is catching," said David, "and the depth of their knowledge is amazing."
While Smithsonian museums may serve as a global microcosm, the Jernigans also love to travel. With Smithsonian curators as their guides, they have explored the biodiversity and cultures of Africa, Europe, South America and the United States.
"The diffusion of knowledge is truly at the core of the Smithsonian's existence," said Pat. "It's been an incredible experience to watch it expand and realize its worldwide reach, and we want to do what we can to see that continue for future generations."