WMU News

Alumnus adds rare mineral collection to Rood museum

Nov. 12, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- The Department of Geosciences and Rood Hall are the new home of a unique new set of mineral specimens given to the University by WMU graduate James H. Duncan Jr.

The collection was dedicated in a public ceremony Oct. 21 at the department's Lloyd J. Schmaltz Museum of Geology in the lobby of Rood Hall. The museum is open to the public during regular University hours and the Duncan collection will be permanently on view as a major addition to the museum.

The crystal specimens, valued at more than $180,000, are from Duncan's private collection. They range in color across the spectrum from black to white, with such hues as rose red, purple, green and honey, and come from mines in Tennessee, Colorado and California.

"We're thrilled to have this wonderful, truly museum-quality collection," says Alan Kehew, chairperson of geosciences.

Duncan of Carmel, Ind., graduated from WMU in 1974 with a degree in political science. He developed an interest in minerals while accompanying his father, former Kalamazoo resident James H. Duncan Sr., and others on raft trips down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Schmaltz started the trips when he was chairperson of the then Department of Geology.

Media contact: Mike Matthews, 616 387-8400, michael.matthews@wmich.edu

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