Lawrence E. Gilbert, Jr. Excellence Endowment
The Lawrence E. Gilbert, Jr. Excellence Endowment was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on June 20, 2008, to benefit The University of Texas College of Natural Sciences. Gift funds were provided by Ann and Roger Worthington, both graduates of the University. Mrs. Worthington received a B.A. in 1988, and Mr. Worthington a B.A. in 1983.
The endowment honors current Brackenridge Field Lab (BFL) Director, Dr. Larry Gilbert, who graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in 1966.
Roger and Ann Worthington donated $500,000 in April 2009 to establish the Gilbert Excellence Endowment, which provides current and all future directors of BFL with a discretionary fund for promoting research, teaching and outreach in ecology, evolution, population and environmental biology at the lab.
Roger first became acquainted with Gilbert when he took Gilbert’s ecology and evolutionary biology course in Plan II. “The course,” said Roger, “opened my eyes to the unintended damages visited upon our environment by our way of life.”
Roger and Ann’s gift is intended to serve as a catalyst for others to add to this endowment in Gilbert’s honor, which will then allow the excellence fund to be reclassified as a chair for the Section of Integrative Biology and renamed the “Lawrence E. Gilbert, Jr. Chair in Biodiversity and Applied Ecology.”
“We would like to see this endowment ultimately grow through match donations into an endowed chair in biodiversity and applied ecology,” said Roger and Ann. “We believe that an endowed chair would empower the university to continue to recruit outstanding faculty who can both direct the Brackenridge Field Lab and promote its general mission.”