Press Release

On behalf of the Field Museum community, I would like to express our profound sadness on the passing of W. Rockwell (Rocky) Wirtz, Chairman of our Board of Trustees and beloved friend to the Museum.

Rocky’s transformational impact on the Blackhawks is well-known; his time with the Field Museum was no less influential. He joined the Museum as a Trustee in 2009. After chairing the Marketing Committee, he was unanimously elected to serve as Board Chair in March 2021. Rocky deftly steered the Board during the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic and provided his characteristic thoughtful, insightful counsel at a time when it was greatly needed.

As Campaign Co-Chair for the $316 million Because Earth fundraising campaign, Rocky helped to secure funds that will sustain the Field for future generations. He and his wife Marilyn also steadfastly and generously supported the Museum’s outreach programs and Women’s Board initiatives, especially as Premier Host Committee members for the annual gala. They are Field Museum Benefactors—among the most generous donors in our Museum’s history.

Rocky embodied what it means to be a Chicagoan: he was generous in every sense, tremendously proud of our city, admirably civic-minded, and warmly welcoming to all.

Like so many in the Field Museum community, I am grateful to have known this remarkable person. We are proud to have his legacy continue at the Field Museum, where he will be missed and long remembered, and are exploring with his family how to best commemorate that legacy.


Julian Siggers, PhD President & CEO