Shortcut Navigation:

Testimonials

Planned Giving Spradley

Mark M. Spradley


“Growing up on Long Island, the American Museum of Natural History was the first museum I ever visited. Like so many other young visitors, the Museum opened my eyes to a world of marvels, history and fascinating special exhibitions,” says Mark M. Spradley. “To date, I have visited over 60 countries. Whether my travel is for business or pleasure, if time permits, my first preference is to visit a museum. On several occasions, I was pleasantly surprised to see traveling exhibitions of the American Museum of Natural History. I admire the Museum’s family-oriented programming, outreach to public schools and the global reach of its programming. I have named the Museum as the beneficiary of my life insurance policy. Simply put, I decided to support the Museum’s work to give future generations the opportunity to be inspired. I look forward to doing more in the coming years to support the scholarly work and family-oriented programming of the Museum.” 

 

 

Planned Giving Spychala

Jeff Spychala


Growing up in Flemington, New Jersey, Jeff Spychala came to the Museum often. After working with underserved kids at a middle school in East Harlem, he now teaches fourth grade at a local charter school. “I love bringing my students to the Museum,” he says. “Whatever topic they are interested in, there’s a place for them to visit. I like the idea that the Museum is committed to science education and works with schools throughout the area. I’m proud to support the Museum’s education programs. They introduce students to a variety of scientific disciplines and promote hands-on, interactive learning.” 

 

 

 

 

Planned Giving Heid

Walter Heid


Walter Heid has been a naturalist his entire life. He grew up on a farm studying botany, geology, soil science and plant pathology. For many years, Walter lived in Central and South America as well as in Kenya, where he and his wife went on over 80 safaris. After he retired, Walter volunteered for the U.S. Forest Service conducting surveys of plant species, small mammals and identifying and banding birds. “I’ve been to 230 museums all over the world,” says Walter. “Whenever I go to a natural history museum, I ask at the front desk if they have a lot of school children who visit. Given the large percentage of our children who grow up in an urban space today, their visit to a natural history museum is vital to their connection with nature. I’m proud to support the American Museum of Natural History and the work it does educating children about the natural world.”

 

 

Vickie Costa and Carl Zydney

Vickie Costa and Carl Zydney


Many people who come to the Museum find the answers to questions they have about astronomy and evolution. Vickie Costa and Carl Zydney came to the Museum and found each other. Vickie started at the Museum as an earth and space explainer in 1999 while Carl started in the exhibitions department the following year. They married in 2002 and have been volunteers at the Museum ever since. To support the Museum, they recently funded a charitable gift annuity, which reduces their taxes and pays them a fixed income for the rest of their lives. “You learn something new every day when you work at the Museum,” says Carl. “The Museum is a wonderful intellectual environment. It has blossomed over the years and just seems to keep getting better and better.” “Years ago, parents brought their kids to the Museum. Now, it seems as though the kids bring their parents here,” adds Vickie. “We love telling visitors about the Museum’s 200 scientists and 40 curators. Most people don’t realize how much cutting-edge science goes on here.”

 

Wayne Mones

Wayne Mones


Growing up in Queens, Wayne Mones remembers coming to the Museum as a seven-year-old boy. He still has the book, Anthropology for Young People, which his father bought him in the gift shop. That book sparked Wayne’s lifelong interest in evolution. Wayne managed the planned giving department at the National Audubon Society where he worked for 27 years. Now that he’s retired, Wayne is a teaching volunteer in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, the Hall of Biodiversity and the Sanford Hall of North American Birds. When it came time to revise his will, Wayne named the Museum as a beneficiary of his retirement plan. “I never knew how great the Museum was until I started volunteering here. I now have a second life,” he says. “I’m proud to support the Museum’s commitment to education.”

 

 

 

Susie Hochenberg

Susie Hochenberg


 Susie Hochenberg has enjoyed volunteering at the Museum’s information desks for almost ten years. Her roots at the Museum are deep. When she was a child, her parents took her to see travel films and special events in what is now the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Theater. At the age of six, she climbed the stage to try on a huge Inuit walrus-tooth necklace. Her son, Malcolm, and husband, Bill, have also spent many hours exploring the Museum. “The camaraderie with other volunteers and members of the Jesup Society is special,” says Susie. “That’s why I’ve selected the Museum to be a beneficiary of my retirement plan. I want to benefit future generations of students at the Museum.”

 

 

 

 

Celia Paul and Stephen Rosen

Celia Paul and Stephen Rosen


Growing up in New Jersey, Celia Paul was interested in science, but in those days, she says, “women couldn’t have careers in science.” She pursued a career in social work, but her interest in science was re-energized when she married Stephen Rosen, a physicist. Celia and Steve are passionate about science education and energetically support the Museum’s work educating children. “The passion the Museum engenders in children is amazing,” says Celia. Steve and Celia have included the Museum’s Asimov Memorial Debate in their estate plans. Each year, under the auspices of Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson, the finest minds in the world come to the Museum to debate questions concerning the frontier of scientific discovery. “The Asimov Memorial Debate educates people about science in a unique and interesting way,” says Steve, “and we’re proud that our support will help it continue for many years as part of our legacy.” 

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
Maps and Directions

Enlighten Your Inbox

Stay informed about Museum news and research, events, and more!