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Penn State Alum Donates $250,000 To Found New Shaver’s Creek Aviary

Can anyone put a price on love? Bird enthusiast and Penn State alum Cyrus Klingsberg sure can.

At 97 years old, Klingsberg just donated $250,000 to Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center to help create a new aviary so that others may share in his love of birds. Klingsberg’s gift hopes to honor his late wife, Vera, and raise awareness for Shaver’s Creek.

“I want to share Vera’s love for birds with a future generation by helping to build and sustain the aviary as a tribute to her memory, and to pay back a debt of gratitude to Penn State. I was able to build a career beyond what I anticipated from what I learned as a graduate student,” Klingsberg said in a release. “My other hope is to grow awareness in the community for Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center. It is a beautiful place for anyone interested in the natural world, but a secret that is too well kept. People should know about it. I want to help create awareness for the enjoyment of nature and bird watching as a hobby for others.”

Both Vera and Cyrus enjoyed spending their time making many cross-country and international trips to go bird watching, including trips to Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Delaware, along the Eastern Shore, and living abroad.

Klingsberg graduated with a Ph.D. in geochemistry from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State in 1958. He’d later continue his career in private industries, nonprofits, and, finally, the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The impact of this gift from Vera and Cyrus is incredible,” Shaver’s Creek director Mark McLaughlin said in a release. “I believe Abby Flanders, the raptor program coordinator at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, summed it up best when she said the legacy of the Klingsberg Aviary will give the public the ability to form a relationship with nature, give visitors the ability to see wildlife in a new way, and Penn State students the ability to be a part of our mission and then carry it forward wherever they go.”

Shaver’s Creek reopened for the spring season on January 26. Visit its website to learn more about upcoming visiting hours, programs, and events.

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About the Author

Sydney Burns

Sydney is a sophomore majoring in English and comparative literature and is one of Onward State's contributors. She is always reading and will spend too long trying to explain her current read to you. On campus, she the passionate president of the Comparative Literature club and a member of Triota. For more literary musings, follow her on Twitter @sydneyymburns or email her at [email protected].

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