A cultural legacy: Lenore Lee (Sliter) von Berg

It is with great sadness that we relate the passing of Ms. Lenore Lee (Sliter) von Berg on March 25, 2023. Together with her husband Hans, who she met in 1953 and lost in 2014, Ms. von Berg donated a substantial portion of the exceptional collection of animal specimens that fills our Natural History Museum.

Hans von Berg grew up in Detroit and graduated from Wayne State University with a B.S. in chemistry. After release from military duty in 1953, Hans von Berg returned to Detroit together with Ms. von Berg, who supported the couple working as a teacher and pursuing a master’s degree. Hans von Berg earned his medical degree at WSU to become one of the first pediatric surgeons in the United States.

The Department of Biological Sciences is deeply grateful for the von Berg’s very special gift as the museum continues to serve as the favorite place for social occasions in the department such as the chair beauty contest conducted by representatives of the Biological Sciences Graduate Student Association (BSGSA) on August 1 this year.

Five open chairs at the Natural History Museum
The open ballot winner from the chair beauty contest was chair number two from the right.

Together with the Department of Anthropology, our department is extremely fortunate to have been entrusted with an outstanding collection of preserved wildlife that the von Bergs collected on adventure travels in many parts of the world. Ms. von Berg is remembered for her passionate interest in diverse cultures and her sponsorship of art programs. She continued to be supportive of the Natural History Museum after her husband’s death and, now, for the rest of her life.

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