EAST LANSING, Mich. -

The Michigan State University Museum plans to use its largest gift ever to create a curator for the facility's historical collections.

University officials on Friday announced the $1.9 million gift to be funded by the estates of donors. They are Julie Avery, Stephen Stier and Val Berryman.

 The endowment is named after Berryman, who died in January after serving nearly 50 years as the museum's curator of history. University officials say the three jointly decided to set aside money before Berryman died.
 
Avery recently retired from the museum, where she held many positions. Stier has held a research associate post since 1995.

 The endowment is the third for the museum's historical collections. An anonymous donor last year established a planned gift, and Avery and Stier in 2002 established another.