Howard donates estate

Campus Times
March 13, 1998


by Michelle Thornton
Assistant Features Editor

A $250,000 scholarship fund will be set up in honor of recently deceased Dr. Hildegarde Howard and will be available for women pursuing careers in biological studies.

Dr. Howard, 96, died Feb. 28. She had no survivors and a service was not held.

She was chief science curator emeritus for the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History from 1951 until 1961, when she retired.

Dr. Howard majored in science at the University of California in the 1920s when women were not allowed on field trips, but earned three degrees in fossil bird research.

As a paleontologist, she researched and studied bird fossils doing her most extensive and internationally known research at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.

In 1953, Dr. Howard became the first woman awarded the Brewster Medal by the American Ornithologists Union for outstanding research in the study of birds. She was also elected the first woman president of the Southern California Academy of Sciences.

Bob Earhart, associate vice president of University Relations, said Dr. Howard's name was passed on to him about 10 years ago by Lowell Brubaker, trustee to the University, who suggested cultivating a relationship with her.

"I knew her when she was a curator, long before she retired and moved to Leisure World. I knew of her interest in students, although she did not have any children of her own," said Brubaker.

Dr. Howard left a provision in her will that her estate should go to the University of La Verne in the form of a scholarship.

She was involved with the Imperial Heights Church of the Brethren in Los Angeles. Brubaker remembers her being on committees, involved in worship services, prayer fellowship groups and meditation groups.

"She was a very interesting and loving person," said Brubaker.

The eligibility requirements for the scholarship have not been confirmed.