Volume 15
Issue 1

January 30, 1910 – February 16, 1996

Bats and BCI lost a true friend last year with the passing of Ruth E. Adomeit of Cleveland, Ohio. Ms. Adomeit became interested in bats in 1987 after attending one of Merlin Tuttle’s lectures at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Having grown up with a strong love of nature fostered by her mo-ther, Ida, Ms. Adomeit immediately appreciated Tuttle’s message about the beneficial roles of bats and joined BCI as a Founder’s Circle member. She was later instrumental in convincing the Cleveland Cliffs Mining Company to sponsor the first Great Lakes Region Bats and Mines Workshop, which helped gain protection for more than one and a half million bats in Michigan and Wisconsin mines such as Norway, Neda, and Millie Hill. This relationship with the mining industry, fostered when the North American Bats and Mines Project was in its infancy, has had a tremendous impact on saving bat roosting habitat in mines throughout North America.

Ruth Adomeit’s philanthropy has been significant in many areas. In tribute to her mother’s passion for botany, she purchased Cave Hollow in southern Ohio for the Ohio Nature Conservancy. This favorite place of her mother’s is now called the Ida M. Adomeit Preserve. In addition, Ms. Adomeit bequeathed her collection of miniature books–one of the world’s largest–to the Lilly Library at Indiana University.

Ms. Adomeit also designated BCI as a beneficiary of her estate. Her gift will continue her legacy of support for many years to come. This is a historic occasion for BCI, and it comes at a critical time for us to meet some long-term program needs.

Ms. Adomeit’s contribution will enable us to establish a special “Education Fund” which will support our student scholarships, bat conservation workshops, and the development of educational materials. BCI scholarships provide indispensable backing for young people at a point in their careers when even a little help can make a tremendous difference. Our workshops offer wildlife professionals comprehensive training essential to long-term progress but unavailable anywhere else. Our educational materials reach countless thousands of children and adults worldwide. Ruth Adomeit’s generosity will ensure the availability of these unique programs for generations to come. We will all miss such a good friend of bats, but we shall never forget her commitment to their preservation.

Ruth Adomeit displays part of her collection of miniature books at an exhibit at the Cleveland Museum, the site where she also first learned about BCI.