The University of South Alabama Department of Earth Sciences has recently received a large mineral collection from the family of the late Alan Borg.
The 4,000 pounds of geological specimens and related materials were collected by Borg throughout his lifetime and includes a wonderful range of fluorescent minerals, said Dr. Douglas Haywick, associate professor of earth sciences. “With the donation of this collection, the University of South Alabama has inheritated what is likely the best collection of fluorescent minerals on the Gulf Coast.”
Betsy Borg said she wanted her late husband’s collection to find a home in an educational setting, due to his lifelong devotion to education and rock collecting. She contacted several universities about the collection and began a conversation with Haywick via e-mail.
Haywick and one of the department’s graduate students traveled to Mrs. Borg’s home in North Carolina to bring the collection to USA. Now, students are in the process of sorting and cataloging the vast Borg collection. When archiving is completed, specimens from the collection will be available for classroom instruction, research and museum display, Haywick said.
According to Haywick, the collection will be of particular use to undergraduate students who want to work on research projects. The scope of the collection allows the students a vast wealth of specimens that they haven’t had in the past.
Mrs. Borg said she is proud that her husband’s passion for minerals will be remembered by the students who will use and appreciate his collection.
University Development Director Ginny Turner said, “The collection so generously donated by Mrs. Borg will provide USA students with the opportunity to view rocks and minerals first hand, not out of a textbook. It will also complement the artifacts housed in the Alfred and Lucile Delchamps Archaeology Museum and further the University's ambition to provide unique opportunities for its students.”