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Bruce Dice Mineralogical Museum

Academics / Departments & Programs / Geo / Bruce Dice Mineralogical Museum

The Bruce Dice Mineralogical Museum has a rotating display of more than 300 unique mineralogical specimens collected from around the world.

Dice Museum displays include gold nuggets, copper leaves, 100-million-year-old fossils, meteorites, and an interactive ultraviolet case to showcase fluorescent minerals. Our page on current displays includes some information sheets for display cases, mineral spotlights, and specimen descriptions. Our visitor map lists all of the current displays with their locations. 

Winner of the 2013 American School and University Outstanding Design for Exhibition Space/Galleries award, this unique space designed by GMB a+e has attracted over 25,000 visitors since its opening in November 2012. We invite you to come and see the Dice Museum and its exhibits for yourself.

Learn More

Visit

The Museum has open hours on Tuesday–Friday during most of the academic year (see details below).  Informal tours are offered by student docents during all open hours or you can explore the collection on your own. Formal tours and educational lectures by faculty and/or staff are available by request. For a formal tour or if you are a group wanting to visit, please call the museum at 616-526-8100 or email Deanna van Dijk (dvandijk@calvin.edu) to make arrangements.

Open Hours (spring semester): 12pm-5pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

  • Spring semester hours begin on Tuesday, 9 January 2023.
  • The Museum is occasionally open for special hours on Saturdays or in the evening. Look under Special Events (below) for information about upcoming unusual open hours.
  • The Museum will be closed for the week of Spring Break (28 Feb-3 March 2023).
  • The Museum will close for final exams at 5pm on Friday, 21 April 2023. Although we will not have regular open hours for the last week of April and the first several weeks of May, we will open for special hours related to graduation and other events. Check here starting in mid-April for a posting of special hours.
  • In mid-April, we will also post information here about regular summer hours.

Special Events:

  • The Dice Mineralogical Museum will be open on Saturday, 4 February from 1-4pm.
  • To mark 10 years of operation (from the dedication on November 9, 2012), the Dice Mineralogical Museum is planning a 10-year celebration open house on Saturday, March 18, 2023. Please plan to drop in between 1 and 5pm. Along with visiting the Museum, you will be able to enjoy refreshments and a variety of activities/displays in nearby classrooms.
  • If you would like to be added to an email list for occasional updates (2-3 times a year) or for announcements of new displays and special events, please complete this short form.

Getting to the Dice Museum: We are located on the Calvin University campus at 3201 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 (see driving map to campus). On campus, you will find us on the first floor of North Hall (see map with parking and building entrances). Admission is free.

History

Mr. Bruce Dice '48 Bruce Dice, a 1948 Calvin alumnus and geologist from Houston, Texas, was an avid rock and mineral collector for as long as he could remember. From childhood digging in his backyard, to spelunking in mines in New Zealand and Mexico, Dice practiced the art of mineral collecting.

During his last 4 decades, Dice invested considerable time and effort into improving his exquisite collection. World-wide travels provided him opportunities to acquire rare and valuable samples. One of his favorite minerals on display is a sample of Crocoite, an unusual and rare lead chromate (PbCrO4) which forms into red, tabular crystals. The museum’s specimen was obtained from a small, family-owned mine in Australia.

Through the years Dice worked to improve the variety and quality of minerals in the collection. Recent purchases included a suite of stunning fluorescent specimens from Franklin, New Jersey, and a fascinating collection of fossil fish from Lebanon.

After many years of building a personal collection, Bruce Dice felt something was missing: “I decided it was time to share … so [the collection] went to the love of my life — Calvin College.” A short time later, his mineral collection was delivered to professional museum staff for mounting, photographing, appraisal and documentation. Back at Calvin, faculty, staff, and students were enthusiastic when construction broke ground in March of 2012. A new addition to North Hall was erected, and over 300 mineral, meteorite, and fossil specimens were relocated to their new home on Calvin’s campus.

Both Dice and those at Calvin University agree that the collection is a magnificent way to marvel at God’s creation. The museum continues to change through the years as new specimens are displayed from acquisitions and storage, thereby offering fresh displays of God’s handiwork to be enjoyed time and again.

Quick Facts

  • 300+

    unique mineral and fossil specimens

    100 million

    age of a fossilized octopus in years

    6.8-ounce

    gold nugget

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