The President's Page: Building for the future [Guest Editorial]


  • A. F. Spilhaus Jr.


Penrose, Day, and Horton are names familiar to many earth scientists. Although they contributed actively to the earth sciences during their lifetimes, they are today perhaps better known for the work done in their names and through funds set aside by them. Penrose Place in Boulder, Colorado, is the site of the beautiful building housing the Geological Society of America; administered by the National Academy of Sciences the Arthur L. Day Fund provides for grants to individuals who are working for the advancement of study of the physics of the earth; the Horton Fund of AGU's section of Hydrology was first used to provide capital for starting Water Resources Research and is now used principally for small grants in support of research.

Nonprofit organizations rely on gifts and bequests for acquiring capital to free them from a hand-tomouth existence and to permit the establishment of innovative programs. Some programs, such as scholarships and research grants, require continuing funds; other programs, such as buildings, require substantial initial support, since they will not begin to pay back their costs for many years. A nonprofit scientific society may never build the financial reserves for such undertakings.