2021-22 BTC Calendar: Cindy and Lance Kearns


07-Mineral-Museum---Rhodo-3.jpgJMU’s announcement of an estate gift of 314 minerals valued at more than $16.8 million was a consequence of a shared passion between donor Peter L. Via of Roanoke, Virginia and geology professors Lance and Cindy Kearns. “We have now become a destination collection,” says Lance, founder and curator of the JMU Mineral Museum. Established in 1976, it will soon reopen to the public in the Festival Conference & Student Center. During his life, Via had invited the Kearnses into his home, sharing his latest mineral acquisitions and relying on their expertise as they shared their common interests. The Kearnses’ careers as scholars, researchers and teachers have created a devoted following of alumni and mineral enthusiasts, and their outreach extends well beyond campus. The couple has developed the museum into a popular mid-Atlantic draw for mineral enthusiasts, tourists, K-12 educators and schoolchildren. With the Via Collection, interest has gone international. The museum currently displays 378 specimens in 18 cases, from 39 countries and 24 states.

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Published: Monday, March 15, 2021

Last Updated: Monday, May 24, 2021

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