The Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum is a small natural history museum located on the second floor of the Michael and Kay Birck Hall of Science at Benedictine University. The museum represents the work of Fr. Hilary Jurica, O.S.B. and his brother, Fr. Edmund Jurica, O.S.B. who collected specimens for their students to use during their almost 100 combined years of teaching at Benedictine University. In the early 1970's, the Museum was placed in the hands of Fr. Theodore Suchy, O.S.B. who turned their collection of specimens into a thriving nature museum. Fr. Ted continued collecting and the collection grew to over 10,000 specimens, ranging from a tiny aphid to a whale skeleton. The Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum is open to the public as well as to school groups to enjoy and learn from the life's work of these three dedicated Monks. To learn more about the history of the museum and Frs. Edmund, Hilary and Theodore, visit the History of the College of Science website.
The museum currently has over 3,500 specimens on display!
The Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum is honored to have been named the Small Institution of the Year for 2016 from the Illinois Association of Museums!
In addition, the museum also received an Award of Excellence for the Discovery Box Loan Program, a free program that serves over 11,000 local students and educators annually. We also received an Award of Excellence for the Discovery Days Education and Outreach Program Series, our new free program series with the goal of highlighting native plants and animals while connecting people with nature through fun, hands-on programs.
We want to take a moment to thank all of our generous donors who continue to support our efforts. These programs are donor supported, and your generosity allows us to offer all of our programs and services free to the community! We could not do this work without you. Thank you!
If you would like to make a contribution to the museum to support our ongoing S.T.E.M. and life science programs, please contact us at JuricaSuchyMuseum@ben.edu or call (630) 829-6531. Thank you for your support!
The museum has been a part of the Little Free Library movement since 2014. The Little Free Library is a "take a book, return a book" free book exchange program. There are over 36,000 registered Little Free Libraries worldwide.
The museum sponsors a library rack stocked with environmental/nature focused books for all ages. The library is conveniently located in the hallway just outside the main entrance to the museum, and is therefore accessible to the public during all University open hours.
If you would like to make a book donation of new or lightly used, nature-themed literature, please call (630) 829-6531 or drop them off at the museum front desk. We would appreciate the help in keeping our Little Free Library well-stocked!
Summer hours are
May 30th to July 27th:
Tuesday - Thursday
1:00pm - 4:00pm
And by appointment
The museum is open by appointment
only during the month of August.
Admission is free.
Open to the public.
All are welcome!
(Discovery Box Reservations
& Tour Requests)
(Note: the director will be out
of the office June - August 2017)