The Dinosaurs

Fisk Museum Acquires Triceratops Skeleton

In January, the Daniel M. Fisk Museum of Natural History at Hillsdale College unveiled a mostly complete 66-million-year-old triceratops skeleton during a ceremony attended by more than 100 students and faculty.

Anthony Swinehart, professor of biology and curator of the museum, pointed out that not all college museums have dinosaur skeletons on display, while others have casts instead of real bones. Hillsdale now has two dinosaur skeletons with many real bones in each.

The display was made possible through the generosity of Tyler and Caitlin Agoston Horning, ’06, ’06. Tyler became interested in archaeology and geology while taking one of Swinehart’s classes. “It’s great to have something like this here at Hillsdale, and it’s great that students of all ages are able to see it,” Horning says.

Also in attendance were Jim Braswell and his wife Donna—after whom the dinosaur was named. Donna joked that because she’s several years older than her husband, it was fitting that he named the dinosaur after her.

Donna (the dinosaur) is the latest addition to a collection started 144 years ago by Hillsdale professor Daniel M. Fisk, who was hired in 1872 and served as the first chairman of the natural sciences. During his time at Hillsdale, Fisk built up the museum’s holdings, including pre-Columbian cultural artifacts, an Egyptian mummy, flintlock pistols from the Revolutionary War, thousands of pounds of fossils and minerals, and a collection of exotic plants and animals.

Printed in the Spring 2018 Alumni Magazine