Leon Mather estate continues support for MSU insect study

Contact: Sammy McDavid

The estate of a government geologist from Clinton will fund future statewide insect surveys and provide support for the Mississippi Entomological Museum at Mississippi State.

Though known internationally for his expertise on concrete, Leon B. Mather also was highly devoted to the study of insects. He became a major supporter of the university's insect research program during his nearly six-decade career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Prior to his death in 2002, Mather donated an extensive personal collection of almost 50,000 noteworthy insects to the repository in the Clay Lyle Complex, home of MSU's entomology program.

Now, a gift of almost $400,000 from the Mather estate will be used to fund travel and field expenses for the museum's ongoing surveys. The fund also will support the purchase of needed equipment and supplies, as well as maintenance of the numerous insect displays.

"Mr. Mather accumulated more than 190,000 moths and thousands of other insects," said museum director Richard L. Brown. "While he donated many specimens to the American Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian and other institutions, he kept the best and unique for his personal collection, which we have on display here at the museum."

For more information on the Mississippi Entomological Museum, contact Brown at (662) 325-2085 or moth@ra.msstate.edu.

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