Museum Champions and Friends,
We have some extremely exciting news to share with you!
I am pleased to announce the Museum has received the largest individual gift in our almost 90-year history. The Batten Foundation has committed $10 million to endow the Museum’s signature access initiative – $1 Admission. This gift will ensure the long-term sustainability of $1 Admission at the Museum.
This incredible news is so impactful and so exciting for us all here at the Museum. We selected $1 Admission to underscore this important idea: through the water, we are one city, one region, one nation, one world – one dollar. As you know well at this point, access to the Museum and the stories told by its collection are key to the Museum’s strategy to execute on its mission. By lowering the barrier to entry to $1 per person, the Museum helps to clear the way for people of all backgrounds to find their own connection to the world’s waters and, ultimately, to each other.
Through the support and encouragement of our Members, Donors, Corporations, and partners like The Batten Foundation, we’ve been able to accomplish some pretty meaningful things here at the Museum like increasing our attendance by over 19%, tripling the children in our galleries, and welcoming the most diverse audience to our galleries that we’ve ever seen! Thank you for your continued support in these endeavors – without your support, I am positive that we would not have attracted this historic endowment. For that reason, I hope you take some pride in this announcement as well – you’ve earned it!
This endowment gift will be a catalyst for growth. While the Batten Foundation will make an initial $5 million contribution in 2020, the second $5 million will be on a matching basis. Once the Museum has raised an additional $5 million in other endowment gifts, the Batten Foundation will release the other half of the $10 million endowment.
Words can’t express how truly grateful we are to our friends with The Batten Foundation. Their commitment to support and embrace our community is inspiring. The Batten Foundation was moved, in part, to make this commitment by Tom Hunnicutt’s passing earlier this year. Frank Batten, Sr., and Tom Hunnicutt served together on The Mariners’ Museum Board of Trustees and formed a strong friendship based on their mutual love of sailing. The Batten Foundation makes this commitment, in large part, to honor that friendship and the decades of service and leadership that Tom Hunnicutt provided The Mariners’ Museum.
Friends, please join us in celebrating this astounding news!
Howard H. Hoege
President & CEO