Mineral museum gets gift for namesake’s 103rd birthday
HOUGHTON — For 120 years, the A. E. Seaman family has supported one of the most renowned mineral museums in North America.
The tradition continues. John “Jack” and Phyllis Seaman recently celebrated Jack’s 103rd birthday with a gift to Michigan Technological University’s A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.
The John and Phyllis Seaman Endowment for Curation of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum will provide perpetual support for a museum curator and enable the museum to continue its impact on students, scientists and the public.
The museum’s current director and curator, John Jaszczak, has been named the inaugural appointee to the newly endowed position. The curator holds the responsibilities of caring for, growing and utilizing the museum’s collections of minerals and related objects for exhibit, education and research.
The Seamans also established a Student Support Fund for students involved with the museum in honor of Jean Petermann Kemp Zimmer ’39, who served as museum curator from 1975-86, and Jack’s sister, Jeanne Seaman Farnum, who studied geology under Wyllys Seaman.The endowment is a fitting honor to both Jack’s grandfather, Arthur Edmund Seaman (1858-1937), and father, Wyllys A. Seaman (1886-1972). Arthur founded the museum and served as its first curator 120 years ago, when Tech was called the Michigan College of Mines, and Wyllys served as the museum’s third curator. Both were Michigan Tech alumni and faculty members.
A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum’s mission to curate a comprehensive collection of minerals and educate people about their importance traces back to the state of Michigan’s Enabling Act of 1861 seeking to establish the Michigan Mining School.
Today, the museum curates approximately 40,000 cataloged objects