The Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis received a $250,000 gift from The Estate of Jane Freund Harris in memory of Whitney R. Harris, who passed away in April.

“Jane and Whitney attended the initial meeting in 1989 that led to the formation of the International Center for Tropical Ecology, which has now become the Harris World Ecology Center,” said Robert Marquis, scientific director of the center.

Jane and Whitney established the center’s first endowment and served on its development board. In memory of Jane, the center created the Jane Harris Scholarship in Tropical Botany. More recently, in 2006, Whitney Harris ensured the center’s future with a major gift.

Marquis said “this new gift demonstrates the long-term commitment of Jane and Whitney to the center and will allow us to continue our efforts to educate tomorrow’s leaders in conservation biology and ecology.”

The Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center has become, through its partnerships with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Saint Louis Zoo, the premier institution for graduate studies in tropical ecology and biodiversity conservation. With graduate students from more than 20 countries working throughout the tropics, the center supports the largest group of tropical biologists in the world.

“We will establish an endowment to further the mission of the Harris World Ecology Center adding to the legacy of two people who cared about our environment and education of the next generation,” said Patrick Osborne, executive director of the center.

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Kylie Shafferkoetter

Kylie Shafferkoetter