James and Louise Temerty donate $3.25 million to the ROM’s Centre of Discovery for Fossils & Evolution

James and Louise Temerty donate $3.25 million to the  ROM’s Centre of Discovery for Fossils & Evolution

Generous Gift will Support the Museum’s First Endowed Chair in the 21st Century and a Dinosaur Research Fund

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is pleased to announce that James and Louise Temerty, long-time benefactors of the ROM, have generously donated $3.25 million to the Museum’s Centre of Discovery for Fossils & Evolution. This ROM Centre of Discovery shares the record of life on Earth through time and conducts ground-breaking research on dinosaurs and fossils. This generous philanthropic investment will establish the James and Louise Temerty Endowed Chair of Vertebrate Palaeontology and the James and Louise Temerty Expendable Research Fund for Vertebrate Palaeontology.

An endowed chair is the highest academic recognition the ROM can bestow on a curator. It is both an honour to the named chairholder and an enduring tribute to the donor who establishes it. “By endowing this position in perpetuity, we are helping to ensure the ROM attracts leading curators, retains scientific excellence and continues to be a leader in sharing knowledge with the public,” said Jim Temerty, Chairman at Northland Power Inc.

This extraordinary gift from the Temertys represents a meaningful investment in the ROM’s curatorial talent, which fuels the ROM as a leading research institution making ground-breaking discoveries that impact how we see or world and understand our history. The ROM can continue to grow its globally-renowned dinosaur research program, unlock potential knowledge in its vast collection of dinosaur specimens, and amplify educational programs for ROM Fossils & Evolution.

The ROM has appointed Dr. David Evans, ROM Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology, as the inaugural chairholder of the James and Louise Temerty Endowed Chair of Vertebrate Palaeontology. “Jim and Louise have been incredible supporters of the ROM’s palaeontology initiatives,” said Dr. Evans. “It is my hope that my research will ultimately provide a better understanding of the causes and consequences of mass extinctions in general, and give insights into the biodiversity crisis that we face today.”

Dr. Evans first laid eyes on dinosaur skeletons in the ROM at the age of four and has been passionate about palaeontology and evolution ever since. One of the ROM’s leading curators, he oversees all dinosaur research at the Museum and is cross-appointed with the University of Toronto as an Associate Professor. Since starting at the ROM in 2007, Dr. Evans has discovered seven new dinosaur species. His current research initiatives include fieldwork in southern Alberta, Sudan, Mongolia and South Africa.

The ROM presently has four endowed chairs—the Mona Campbell Chair of Decorative Arts, the Louise Hawley Stone Chair of East Asian Art, the Teck Endowed Chair of Mineralogy and the Bishop White Chair of East Asian Art and Archaeology. The Museum also has an endowed Canadiana Curatorship, Curatorship of South Asian Visual Culture and Nora E. Vaughan Fashion Costume Curatorship.

 Over the past 20 years, the Temertys have made a dinosaur-sized impact on the ROM, including a $10 million gift during the Renaissance ROM Campaign. Jim is a member of the ROM Board of Governors and held the position of Chair during Renaissance ROM. In 2012, the Temertys were generous Exhibit Patrons for the ROM’s Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants from Gondwana exhibition, presented by Raymond James.  

In 2013, Dr. David Evans and a team of scientists named a new dinosaur Acheroraptor temertyorum in honour of the Temerty family’s vital support of the ROM and its palaeontology projects. This small, meat-eating dinosaur was discovered based on fossils from Montana, USA, which are now displayed in the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs at the Museum. 

“The ROM is very fortunate to have outstanding philanthropic leadership from the Temertys,” said Dianne Lister, President & CEO of the ROM Governors. “It is even more meaningful for the Museum to receive such an investment during its Centennial year, as we celebrate 100 years of building community by nurturing wonder and inspiring discovery.”

This transformational gift from the Temertys was announced at the 30th anniversary celebration for the ROM’s Royal Patrons Circle (RPC) on September 30, 2014. The Royal Patrons Circle is a dedicated and diverse group of 850 individuals who are committed to supporting the ROM through annual individual and corporate donations, which contribute $1.3 million each year for the Museum’s highest priorities.