Sharing a love for music and science

Dr. Donald W. Collier devoted much of his life to science and engineering, but music always held a special place in his heart. After earning his PhD in physical chemistry and chemical engineering from Princeton University, Dr. Collier worked as a chemical engineer on a variety of projects, including codeveloping the in-car breath tester to deter drunk driving. His love for music began at an early age and continued throughout his life. He held Saturday night seats at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for forty years and served on its governing board.

For several years, his daughter Kay Collier looked for ways to honor her father, who passed away in 2000. She concluded that contributing to MIM’s STEM Gallery as the presenting sponsor
was the perfect way to celebrate both his legacy and his love for science and music.

The Dr. Donald W. Collier STEM Gallery is an innovative space where guests of all ages can discover important connections between music and science through themes of sound creation, technological innovation, the human ear, hearing safety, and much more. Dr. Collier lived with a severe hearing impairment for many years, and the gallery features an interactive “Jolene” mannequin that helps guests to learn more about sound levels and hearing safety.

Kay also established an endowment fund named after her father to support various aspects of STEM education at MIM. The fund will help ensure that students and educators can continue to learn about the science of sound at MIM, both now and for years to come. MIM is deeply appreciative of Kay’s generosity and commitment to STEM education.

“The STEM Gallery is brilliant; my dad would have loved it,” says Kay. “All students should have the benefit of an introduction to STEM and the arts. I hope they can continue coming back to learn more at MIM.”