A California couple has donated farmland in the Salinas Valley worth an estimated $5 million to the University of Oregon.
The funds generated from lease payments will be divided equally between athletics and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History.
Al and Jean Pederson donated 550 acres of land from the world famous "salad bowl of America," the Salinas Valley, to the U of O. The couple are U of O Alumni, who graduated in 1943.
Jon Erlandson is director of the Museum of Natural and Cultural History. He says this gift will be transformative. It quintuples the museum's endowment -- providing a regular flow of dollars.
Erlandson said, "They will help fund just a wide variety of things: Care of our collections. Archeological and paleontological research as well as interpretation and public programs related to Oregon's deep history."
The museum has renamed its exhibit space the Jean R. Pederson Exhibit Hall. The donation to the Athletics Department will help pay for construction of their new football operations building by Autzen Stadium.