UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA FOUNDATION

Tiny curators at the Bell Museum

Young philanthropists raise funds for their favorite museum

Ten-year-old Maria and 9-year-old Miller Williams have inquisitive minds, an aptitude for science, and an utter fearlessness of all things creepy-crawly.

The two siblings—children of Anna, ’97 B.S., and Nick Williams, ’98 B.S., ’08 M.B.A.—have been collecting natural history items since they were little. The siblings even share a bedroom to free up another room for their treasures. It also helps that Maria has known since age 2 that she wants to be a paleontologist (and the first to clone dinosaurs).

In January 2016, Maria and Miller shared their love of natural history—and their collection—with friends and neighbors, putting more than 100 objects on display in what they called the Tiny Natural History Museum near their home in Minnetrista. Miller was in charge of admissions ($2 a head) and Maria was the docent.

The two gave half the proceeds ($125.71, to be exact) to their favorite museum—the U’s Bell Museum of Natural History.

There’s something to be said for tiny museums. And much to look forward to from these tiny curators.