Press Release

Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121

Andrew Ng (415) 379-5123

SAN FRANCISCO (May 23, 2007) — The California Academy of Sciences is pleased to announce the election of William J. Patterson as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees. Patterson has served on the Academy's Board since 2003, most recently as Chair of the Exhibits Committee. As Board Chair, Patterson will lead the Academy through one of the most exciting chapters in its long and illustrious history, as its new facility nears completion in Golden Gate Park. The new Academy, an international model for environmental sustainability, will open in late 2008. It will house the Kimball Natural History Museum, Morrison Planetarium, and Steinhart Aquarium, as well as the 20 million scientific specimens in the Academy’s research collections.

"Bill's nomination is strongly supported by the board," said Dr. Gregory Farrington, Executive Director of the Academy. "His passion for the Academy's mission, especially its dedication to education and research about the natural world, will help propel us through opening day and beyond."

Patterson is a managing partner of SPO Partners & Co., a private investment partnership dedicated to public and private equity investing that he joined in 1989. Patterson earned his M.B.A. in 1989 from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar, and received his A.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 1984.

In addition to his efforts at the Academy, Patterson has served as Chair of the Investment Committee of the Marin Community Foundation, Vice Chair of the Stanford Business School Trust, and board president of the Bay Area Discovery Museum. He lives with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children in Ross, California.

"I am honored to serve as Chair during this pivotal moment in the Academy's 154-year history," said Patterson. "The Academy is wonderfully positioned to advance our understanding of some of the most important issues of our time."

Patterson succeeds Richard Bingham, who has completed ten years of tireless service as Chair of the Board of the Academy. During his tenure, Bingham led the institution through a stunning transformation, as the plans to build a state-of-the-art new facility in Golden Gate Park were developed and implemented. Designed by world-famous architect Renzo Piano, the new Academy represents the largest cultural fundraising project in San Francisco's history.

"I am extremely pleased that Bill Patterson has been chosen to succeed me as Chair of the Academy," said Bingham. "I know Bill will be an outstanding board leader."

Patterson's new position will take effect on July 1, 2007.


The California Academy of Sciences is home to Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the Kimball Natural History Museum. The Academy is in the midst of an extensive rebuilding project in Golden Gate Park. Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano is designing the new Academy, which is scheduled to open on September 27, 2008. (415) 379-8000.

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