Endowment Society: Protecting the Ocean for Future Generations
Millions of people draw inspiration from the Aquarium and look to us to be a voice for the ocean and its wildlife. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and members, we are tackling the gravest threats to ocean health — threats not only to ocean ecosystems but to our planet's life support system.
The challenges ahead are great and demand even greater resources. To help meet these challenges, in 1996 we established our Endowment Fund for the Future of the Ocean. Each year, a portion of the investment income from the fund is directed to help support our education programs, animal care, exhibits and global ocean conservation initiatives — everything we do to inspire conservation of the ocean.
We created our Children's Education Endowment Fund in 2011 to guarantee free admission to the Aquarium for schoolchildren — in perpetuity. Providing free visits for school groups has been our hallmark since we opened in 1984, and we have welcomed over 2.5 million children free of charge. Contributions to this special endowment will make it possible for future generations to enjoy this same opportunity.
Founding Members of the Endowment Society as of Aug. 1, 2019
- Wallis Annenberg
- Eugene Cheng, MD and Maribeth Colloton
- John and Jean De Nault
- Richard G. and Mae F. Dong
- Jane B. Dunaway
- M. Jean Fisher
- The Gill Family Trust in memory of Ravinderjit Kaur Gill
- Charles E. Halfmann and G. Robert Yee
- Wendy W. Kwok and Family
- Douglas Lee and Kellee Noonan
- Worth and Andy Ludwick
- Susan and Jay Mandell
- Dr. Hugh A. McAllister Jr.
- John and Judith Mitchell in memory of Megan Liane Mitchell
- Dean Morton
- Pamela J. Pescosolido
- Mary K. Powell
- Denise Foderaro and Frank Quattrone
- Dr. Thomas Weber and Stephanie Reib
- Walter and Ramona Reichl
- Jane and Chuck Rubey
- Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation
- Robert and Janice Scott Foundation
- Curtis and Priscilla Tamkin
- Suzanne Francoeur Taunt
- The Terry Family Foundation
- Leon Thomas and Betty Bird
- Alan Williams
Creating a Legacy for the Ocean
When it comes to Meg Donat's personal commitment to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and ocean conservation, she embodies the words "loyal" and "dedicated." She's a 35-year Charter Member and donor who began volunteering as a diver before the Aquarium opened. In fact, Meg started cleaning windows as soon as seawater flowed into the exhibits!
Meg's journey began in 1965 when she took her first dive course as the only woman in the class. Later on, after she became a scuba diving instructor, she helped inspire a new generation of female divers herself. Meg has also been inducted as a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame.
Among her many achievements, Meg is especially proud to be an ocean advocate. She sums up her volunteer service at the Aquarium this way: "I love the water and have enjoyed the best volunteer job!"