Shelby's Social Diary
No pith helmets or hiking boots for this safari. The privileged crowd that gathered for the "prehistoric safari" at the Houston Museum of Natural Science dressed rather for a chic preview of the new Hall of Paleontology that opens to the public on Saturday in the museum's Dan L. Duncan Family Wing.
The museum's major donors were invited in for dinner and a first look at what is said to be the largest paleontology exhibition space in North America.
They mixed and mingled around the all-bone T.rex, featuring the best preserved and most complete hands and feet of any T.rex ever found, as well as patches of original skin on display. Speaking of skin, these special visitors, just as those yet to come, were invited to reach out and touch the fossilized dinosaur skin. In all, more than 30 dinosaurs and large mammals welcomed the well-heeled gathering to the new digs that stretch the length of a football field.
After touring the new space and the unveiling of the donor wall, the 120 guests moved to the second-floor Morian Overlook that provided an astonishing eye-to-eye view of the towering T.rex. The champagne and lighter libations flowed as the crowd toasted the success of the museum addition for which $85 million was raised in a capital campaign.
Capital campaign co-chairs Laurie Morian and Brady Carruth were proud momma and pappa on this night as was HMNS CEO Joel Bartsch.
Sitting down for the dinner by City Kitchen were museum board chair Randa Duncan Williams and Charlie Williams, Jan Duncan, Janet and Ernie Cockrell, Stephanie and Ernie Cockrell, Estela and David Cockrell, Terry and Tommy Smith, Reed Morian, Windi Grimes, Mindy and Jeff Hildebrand, Kathrine McGovern and Susie and Mel Glasscock.