Why We Give spotlights the amazing Science World donors who make it possible for us to deliver our outreach programs and invest in vital capital projects.
Why We Give: John Murphy and Leslie Lee
Twenty-five years ago, at Warren Buffet’s Annual Meeting, the then-fourth-richest person in the world made shareholders chuckle when he attributed his success to having won the “ovarian lottery.”
Borrowing the concept from political philosopher John Rawls, Buffet listed his gender (male); his race (white); his nationality (American) and his talent (valuing businesses) as the winning numbers on his ticket.
Buffet then argued strongly in favour of helping ensure those who “got the wrong ticket don’t live a life dramatically worse than those who were luckier.”
Long-time Science World donor John Murphy references this philosophy when asked why he supports our organization. He and wife Leslie Lee want to help “level the playing field for everyone.”
“Growing up, there basically wasn't an opportunity I couldn’t have gone after if I’d chosen to,” John says. “I’ve been very, very lucky. Many others haven’t been.”
Screaming for the Right Reasons
A few years after that Annual Meeting, a Science World Board member approached John and asked if he’d like to get involved in our charitable organization.
At the time, he and Leslie were new parents and wanted to join non-profit initiatives that emphasized education.
“We thought Science World would be a good fit. The exhibits and programming stimulate learning and thinking about subjects that are very useful and important.”
He accepted the invitation for a tour of our geodesic dome so he could get the lay of the land. Being new to the world of giving, “I feared a bunch of gala dinners, which I don’t really enjoy ” he laughs.
The introduction to Science World defied his expectations.
Then-CEO Bryan Tisdall “was a walking enthusiasm machine who bounced on his toes when he talked to you,” and every gallery they visited was full of “screaming-for-the-right-reasons kids.”
“I thought to myself, ‘Wow, this is really great.’” John and Leslie made their first major donation shortly after.
Why They Give
John says that in the beginning, the pay-off for supporting Science World came from working with people like Bryan, past Chairs Barbara Brink, Ken Spencer, Morgan Sturdy, Paul Geyer and others.
“They did exceptional work for Science World. I gained more from them than they gained from me, and I’m very thankful for that experience and the lessons I learned from it.”
Today, the pay-off comes when he and Leslie see alumni from our programs celebrated for winning major science scholarships or inventing new technologies.
“Every time I hear about these successes, it feels good in many ways. That person is on a good path, will likely contribute positively to society and make good decisions, and that’s important.”
John and Leslie continue to give in the hopes of opening the door to scholarships and new inventions for those who might otherwise--by luck of the draw--be locked out.
“The more people who can access and benefit from Science World, the better off we’ll all be.”
Fund The Future.
Join the growing community of Science World donors by making a gift today.