Vol. 12. No. 4
Spring 2003

Bequest Benefits the Utah Museum of Natural History

Beginning with a gift of rocks, fossils, and shells in 1982, Margaret and Max Lichenheim became ardent supporters of the Utah Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah. While Max passed away in 1982, Margaret has maintained and enjoyed close ties with the museum and the University for the past 20 years.

A founding member of the John R. Park Society, Margaret never missed an opportunity to attend the annual events and believed strongly in its purposes. Thanks to her careful planning and generosity, when Margaret died on July 9, 2002, at the age of 94, the U received a final gift from her estate: a fund of more than $200,000 to establish the Max and Margaret Lichenheim Collection’s Management Endowment, which will assist the curatorial needs of the museum.

Wartime trials form a fascinating backdrop to the Lichenheims’ generosity to the U through the years. Born and raised in Germany, Margaret and Max first met when she was 17 and he was 23. It was, according to Margaret, “an immediate attraction.” Their marriage in 1933 brought with it high hopes for a bright future. Three days after taking their wedding vows, however, Adolf Hitler came to power. Not only their hopes, but also those of millions of European Jews, were smothered that fateful day. After the Nazi regime ordered Max’s law practice closed, the couple relocated to Rostock, where Nazi soldiers destroyed their home and business and sent Max to a concentration camp. In the spring of 1939, Max and Margaret escaped Hitler’s Germany to Shanghai, China, where they endured humiliation in the nightmarish years of the Japanese occupation of China.

After the war, they immigrated to the United States and settled in Salt Lake City. Max opened a successful stamp business, and the couple enjoyed life tremendously, traveling extensively in the years that followed.

Max and Margaret Lichenheim have left an exemplary legacy of determination and giving, which will benefit the community and the U throughout the future.


The U offers a variety of giving programs designed to ensure the greatest benefits for both the donor and the University. One of these is planned giving—a commitment to a gift established during a donor’s lifetime whose principal benefits to the University do not accrue until some time in the future.

Careful planning can maximize the positive effects of contributions such as appreciated securities, life insurance policies, real estate, and gifts of personal property. Bequests through wills are popular because contributions provide support without diminishing the assets available to the donors during their lifetime.

For further information on making a planned gift to the University of Utah, contact C. Jeffry Paoletti BS’65 JD’68, director of planned giving: University of Utah Office of Planned Giving, 201 Presidents Circle, Room 302, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9015, www.ugive.utah.edu, (801) 581-6824, (800) 716-0377.

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