America’s Flagship Receives $250,000 Donation
Inspired by Pollin Challenge Grant, Anonymous Donor Jump-starts 2015 Fundraising with Generous Gift for Curatorial Planning
As we enter a new and exciting year for America’s Flagship, the Conservancy is proud to announce that we have received of one of our largest ever individual contributions. The gift of $250,000 was made by an anonymous donor who was inspired by the generosity and passion exhibited by cruise industry executive Jim Pollin. Last year Jim donated an initial $120,000, followed by a generous challenge grant. Supporters from across the country and around the world answered Jim’s call to action by donating $120,000, prompting Jim to match this amount. Jim was recently honored with the Conservancy’s National Flagship Champion Award.
“Jim’s donations have now yielded more than half a million dollars for America’s Flagship,” said our executive director, Susan Gibbs. “This new major donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, is helping us build on the momentum of our encouraging redevelopment agreement announced in December. Feasibility studies for the ship’s conversion are ongoing, and many design and engineering challenges must still be overcome. However, this extraordinarily generous donation provides real wind at the sails of our efforts.”
Funds from the new gift will be used in the near-term for advancing our various curatorial programs, including planning for the SS United States Museum of Design and Discovery. Preliminary designs for the museum include restoring key areas of the ship to create innovative and immersive experiences for visitors.
The museum and the Conservancy’s curatorial and archival programs will be developed in consultation with our advisory council and other specialists, including maritime historians and experts previously associated with the Smithsonian Institution, Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
“While our new development partners continue their due diligence and planning for the repurposing of the SS United States, the Conservancy will use this generous donation to jump-start the exciting process of developing a world-class museum. We will also continue our global search and cataloging of original artifacts, artwork and ephemera from the vessel, as well as compiling and digitizing passenger and crew records, among other important projects,” Susan explained.
Jim said: “Last year, I asked the world to help save our flagship. I asked people to join me in ensuring this majestic piece of American history had a future. This new gift is an amazing display of confidence in the Conservancy’s vision and an acknowledgement of the ship’s historic importance for all of us.”