More Than Just a Job

Meg Beckel’s relationship with ROM began years before ever working here – or anywhere, for that matter.  

Like many other ROM volunteers and employees, Meg’s first introduction to the Museum came as a child, when her mother enrolled her and her brother in ROM’s Saturday Morning Club. The siblings would take the subway downtown, bound up the main entrance steps to enter a world of enthralling galleries and vast collections.  

“There must have been adults around, but I just remember a sense of complete freedom,” Meg recalls.  "I loved the old Mineral Gallery. I can practically still picture gleaming specimens of mica, almost thin enough to see through.” 

Her early childhood connection to the Museum persisted as Meg got older. While working a fast-paced bank job in her twenties, she would often find respite in the quiet of the Dinosaur Hall and its fossil theatre. Although now long-gone, the theatre was still there when Meg first began working as President and Executive Director of the ROM Foundation (now ROM Governors) in 1998. She went on to serve as COO of ROM from 1999 to 2007, overseeing operations during the critical Renaissance ROM campaign years.  

It was as she began her professional relationship with the Museum that Meg learned she was following in her mother’s footsteps. It turned out that as a young master's student, Dorothy Beckel (née Brown), had herself worked at ROM, mounting fleas, tics, and lice in the entomology department. Reminiscing on her mother and her work at the Museum, Meg laughs, “brilliant and cool and what a job!” But nonetheless, this position helped Dorothy fund her universities studies and led her further down the path to her eventual career as an arctic botanist.   

“Even though my mother was the one who had sent us to ROM as kids, I don’t think I knew about her history at the Museum until I started working there myself,” Meg muses. “It was such an incredible connection for me, and I wanted to honour it, to honour her, and to honour this place that was such a big part of both my childhood and my adulthood.” 

And so, upon leaving ROM in 2007, Meg decided to make a planned legacy gift to the Museum. “I have had 15 years to plan my gift,” explains Meg. “I had assumed it would be a bequest, but I recently realized I did not want to wait that long! By redirecting my final performance award and unused vacation pay from my last job, I could afford to bring forward part of my gift much sooner and thus make a difference much sooner. It’s a lot more fun to get to see my gift in action during my lifetime!” 

By making her legacy commitment, Meg joined the Currelly Legacy Society, a visionary group of donors whose planned gifts ensure the future of the Museum for years to come. Exclusive events, lifelong learning opportunities and tax incentives are just a few of the benefits they enjoy. 

“Beyond my personal love of ROM, I believe museums play an important role in the cultural and social fabric of society. ROM has the opportunity and obligation to inspire Ontarians and beyond to understand and respect their cultural and natural history. With understanding comes respect, with respect comes value and with value comes a desire to conserve and protect,” says Meg.  

She also hopes her gift will help support collections care and the good old fleas, tics, and lice that meant so much to her mother all those years ago. 

To learn more about making a planned gift to ROM, contact Janice Correa at