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Notes from the Chairman of the Board

09/02/2015 Matt Engle

I want you to think back 25 years… it was the introduction of World Wide Web, the Berlin Wall came down, and the very first episode of The Simpsons aired. In Las Vegas, the Mirage opened and we had a population of just over 700,000. It was also the start of the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.

This is the start of the 25th year that the Las Vegas Natural History Museum has been educating and entertaining locals and tourists alike. If you were to see the museum back then you would see an old Elk’s Lodge that was converted into a small museum by the hands of a very determined woman and small group of believers. Marilyn Gillespie is still the Executive Director of the Museum today and listening to her stories of how this place came to be is one of my favorite parts of being the current Chairman of the Board.  She tells stories of the people who would come by and help with money or sweat and of those people who would tell her that she would be closed in a year.  Both groups of those people are a big part of why the Museum is a success today. Both motivated her and gave her the determination to make something out of nothing.

Today, the Museum has hosted more than one million visitors. It has been part of countless children’s educations and imaginations. There are so many new stories to tell; stories of families who have come here for years. We are starting to see generations coming together. Hearing parents tell their children of how they came here on a field trip when they were young.

With the old comes the new and that is what is happening to the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. 2015 is when we celebrate the past and look forward to the future. I would like to invite you to take a journey with me through this blog the rest of 2015 as we look back at the people, companies, and foundations that have shaped our museum as it stands today. Along the way, we will give a hint of what is to come with your museum...it is exciting news for the community we are part of!

Please feel free to share your stories of your own memories of the Las Vegas Natural History Museum on our Facebook page or email them to development@lvnhm.org and we will share them.

Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog.

“Here’s to the past, and welcome the future!”


Matt Engle

Chairman of the Board

Las Vegas Natural History Museum