FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2006
Contact: Carol Anne Baker, Media Relations Specialist
(804) 342-9665 email:
THE KRESGE FOUNDATION AWARDS VIRGINIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
$1 MILLION CHALLENGE GRANT
$1-million challenge grant awarded to the VHS's 175th Anniversary: Home for History Campaign
Richmond, VA – In a major fundraising victory, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) was recently informed that its bid for a $1-million challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation was successful. "We are thrilled," says Pamela R. Seay, vice president for advancement at the Society. "The board, our team on staff, and I have worked hard for the past year to prepare a competitive proposal for The Kresge Foundation." The award, a $1-million challenge grant, was awarded to the 175th Anniversary: Home for History Campaign. This campaign—a $55 million endeavor—is the largest fundraising effort in the Society's 175-year history. The campaign goals include support for existing educational programs at the VHS as well as the building of a new wing, scheduled to open this July, to house the ever-growing holdings that make up the Society's vast manuscript, archive, rare book, and artifact collections. Programming funds from the campaign will support the new Reynolds Business History Center—a first-of-its-kind center for the study of Virginia's businesses from the founding of the colony through the present day. Educational programs for the center include the long-term exhibition, Virginians at Work, teacher training, and school tours designed to highlight the economic components of the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) objectives.
"I am very proud of this entire project," said Dr. Charles F. Bryan, Jr., president and CEO of the Virginia Historical Society. "The building is on schedule and within budget. We've managed to successfully complete three additions to our building—all within the time and budget parameters set during the planning stages. We still have some money to raise before we wrap up this campaign," said Bryan. "But this support from The Kresge Foundation will help us as we approach potential donors."
"We've raised $47.5 of the $55 million campaign," adds Seay. "This good news from The Kresge Foundation will be a tremendous advantage as we close the gap and finish this campaign." In order to receive payment of the $1 million challenge grant, the Society must raise $6.5 million by January 1, 2007—a deadline scheduled by its board in the early days of the campaign. "I'm confident we can do this," says Seay. "We have a strong board, a wonderful, loyal membership, and a lot of support from the community. I look forward to meeting the challenge set forth by The Kresge Foundation. This is an important campaign that speaks to the very core of the Society's mission—creating a safe home for history."
The Virginia Historical Society is located at 428 N. Boulevard. The Story of Virginia, An American Experience,
a 10,000-square-foot exhibition with more than a thousand objects covering all of Virginia history from prehistoric
times to the present is featured in the Robins Center for Virginia History. Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am - 5pm
and Sunday 1pm - 5pm (Museum Galleries only). Admission: $5/adults, $4/seniors 55+ ($2/Tuesdays–galleries
only), $3/children and students, free/members. Admission to the galleries is free on Sundays. For group tour
information, call (804) 342-9652. For more information, please call (804) 358-4901 or visit