Environmental studies major Martin "Marty" McGuire graduated from in 2006 and died in a tragic car accident on August 7, 2007.
On Monday, the school paid tribute to the alumnus when it opened the Marty McGuire Museum at the Pleasantville campus Environmental Center.
The museum houses the university's collection of living animals, reptiles, amphibians and other wildwife exhibits.
According to a statement from the school, the museum's concept was created by Ralph O'Dell, who, as the former director of natural resource protection in the state's Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, served as a mentor to McGuire.
The student worked as an assistant to O'Dell after graduation and had planned to update O'Dell's Birds of Deer Island book before he passed away.
According to McGuire's father, Marty "had a love of animals and birds" for as long as he could remember, adding, "He was influenced by his environment and wanted to make sure it was preserved."
At the dedication, he said, "It brought back a lot of memories. It makes me very proud."
Pace benefactor Lucy Waletzky, M.D., chair of the New York State Council of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, also supported the project.
She called McGuire "a phenom of birding on par with John J. Audobon."
The museum is now part of the university's renovation to the 1700s farmhouse on campus, which serves as the Environmental Center.
In addition to serving the Pace environmental program, the center has hosted more than 2,500 local students every year.
Here's a schedule of the Marty McGuire Museum's hours of operation and offerings:
Indoors (Monday—Friday, 11 a.m.—3 p.m.)
- Two Burmese pythons (13” albino named “Mona” and 9’ “Thud”)
- Two Chinese water dragon lizards, “Yin" and "Yang”
- Three corn snakes and two box turtles
- Three goldfish and a musk turtle, “Stinky”
- Mali Euro mastic lizard named “Angus" and two leopard geckos, “Guy" and "Ko”
- Black-tailed prairie dog named “Chester”
- Chinchilla named “John Muir”
- Screech owl named “Pearl”
Outdoors (Dawn until dusk)
- A variety of heirloom chickens
- Saint Croix sheep two Nubian goats.
- Red tailed hawk and a great horned owl.
Outdoors (Monday—Friday, 8 a.m.—2 p.m.)
- Lanner falcon
- Harris hawk
- Barred owl
- There is also a self-guided nature trail, deer resistant garden, native garden and koi pond
Said O'Dell, "I think the museum is not only a great tribute to Marty, but a tribute to how Pace treats its students."