Auxiliary Board

About Us

John G. Shedd Aquarium’s Auxiliary Board is comprised of about 75 young professionals and community leaders who share a common interest in aquatic life and conservation. Auxiliary Board members represent a variety of Chicago-based corporations and institutions, across a diverse range of industries. The Auxiliary Board’s mission is “to support Shedd Aquarium and its Board of Trustees by actively developing new sources of support and increasing public awareness of the aquarium’s exhibits, research, conservation and education programs.”

Committees and Programs

The board has a variety of member-led committees that help it achieve its mission, including fundraising, membership, conservation, engagement, and social committees. In addition, the board has a leadership committee focused on strategizing and planning for the board’s signature fundraising event, BLU, which is hosted annually on the last Saturday in July. The board also collaborates on Shedd’s education initiatives through their support of the Wreath-Cycled program, a recycling classroom challenge that occurs each holiday season and spreads Shedd’s conservation message to local Chicagoland schools.


In addition to required participation on at least one committee, board members are expected to attend a minimum of four Auxiliary Board or Shedd programs throughout the year. Meetings take place quarterly, with other board programming opportunities available about once per month. Along with active board participation, Auxiliary Board members also support Shedd’s fundraising efforts through financial contributions and ticket purchases to BLU. 

How to Apply

New members are accepted on an ongoing basis, typically on a quarterly schedule. To begin the application process, candidates are asked to send a resume and a statement of interest to From there, a representative of the Membership Committee will contact them to discuss next steps in the application process. Invitations to join Shedd’s Auxiliary Board are based on space availability.