Not many donors have a fossil park named for them. Jean and Ric Edelman earned theirs with a $25 million gift that allowed Rowan University in New Jersey to purchase the best repository east of the Mississippi of Cretaceous Era animal remains, including dinosaur fossils. Rowan professor and prominent geologist Kenneth Lacovara is leading research at the site, which will also be used for popular science education of children and adult visitors, through construction of a museum, lab, visitor center, and paleontology-themed playground. The Edelmans started their philanthropic support of their alma mater with a million-dollar gift to fund the university’s planetarium and associated science-education programs. Their wealth derives from a financial-advisory company they jointly founded and expanded into the largest such independent firm in the country.
- Edelman Fossil Park, rowan.edu/fossils/