$50 Million Gift From Perot Family
MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE TOPS $100 MILLION MARK WITH $50 MILLION GIFT FROM PEROT CHILDREN IN HONOR OF MARGOT AND ROSS PEROT
Victory Park facility to be named the Perot Museum of Nature & Science
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DALLAS (May 30, 2008) – Calling it “an extraordinary tribute and a momentous gift that makes the dream of a new museum at Dallas’ Victory Park a reality,” Museum of Nature & Science officials today announced that fundraising efforts have topped the $100 million mark with a $50 million gift made by the Perot children in honor of their parents, Margot and Ross Perot.
The Victory Park facility, which will supplement the existing Fair Park facilities to address the growing demand for math and science education, will be named the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
“The Perot children’s incredible gift of $50 million is extremely significant because, by reaching the $100 million milestone, it will allow us to break ground at the Victory Park site in late 2009,” said Nicole G. Small, CEO of the Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas. “We are so honored to receive this meaningful tribute from the Perot children celebrating their parents’ amazing contributions to society.”
Mr. and Mrs. Ross Perot and their five children – Katherine Perot, Carolyn Rathjen, Suzanne McGee, Nancy Mulford and Ross Perot, Jr. – were joined by Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, Museum leadership and other guests at the W – Dallas Victory Hotel for today’s announcement. The Perots’gift is the largest ever made to the Museum of Nature & Science and is believed to be one of the single-largest cash gifts to a Dallas museum.
“Margot and Ross Perot have given so much to Dallas and to thousands of worthwhile projects across America. I can think of no better legacy than a museum that inspires young people to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology,” said Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert. “Also, I’m delighted that the Perot Museum of Nature & Science will be a world-class destination that will attract millions of visitors to Dallas.”
Including the Perots’ gift, the Museum has now secured nearly $106 million in capital towards its current goal of $155 million for the project, which includes the site acquisition, exhibition planning and design, construction of the new building, education programs and an endowment. Other major lead gifts for the new facility have included $10 million from Hunt Petroleum, $10 million from the Hoglund Foundation and Family, $10 million from The Rees-Jones Foundation, $10 million from
T. Boone Pickens, and $2.5 million from the Corrigan Family.
“The story of the growth and development of Dallas has been a story of service, sacrifice, innovation and boldness, and Mom and Dad have contributed greatly to that story,” said Ross Perot, Jr. “That is why we are so proud to add another chapter to that story with this gift to this wonderful museum in their honor.”
Plans to expand Museum of Nature & Science include innovative building, dynamic exhibits
Plans have been in the works for several years to build a new state-of-the-art nature and science museum in Dallas, which will supplement the existing Fair Park facilities. The need for additional space became even more critical after the 2006 merger, unlike any in the nation, of three cultural institutions – the Dallas Museum of Natural History (est. 1936), The Science Place (est. 1946) and the Dallas Children’s Museum (est. 1995).
Once the Victory Park museum opens, the Fair Park facility will continue to play a critical role. Dallas architecture firm Good Fulton & Farrell currently is developing a comprehensive space plan for the Fair Park facilities.
The combined Fair Park and Victory Park facilities will dramatically increase space so that the Museum can showcase a wider spectrum of its valuable collections, incorporate modern technology, host world-class traveling exhibitions, and greatly expand its educational programs for schoolchildren and the general public. With the new spaces, the Museum can better accomplish its mission to “inspire minds through nature & science” and help Dallas and its citizens maintain their competitive edge by developing an educated workforce for the future.
“Science is part of our everyday lives. Innovation is everywhere, and, as a result, job opportunities in science and technology fields are exploding,” said Forrest Hoglund, chairman of the Museum’s Leadership Council. “By adding the new facility, we will be able to dramatically expand our educational efforts to better serve our community with exciting, engaging, and innovative programs never before experienced in North Texas.”
The Perot Museum of Nature & Science will be constructed on a 4.7-acre site at the northwest corner of Woodall Rodgers Freeway and Field Street adjacent to Victory Park. In January 2008, the Museum named 2005 Pritzker Prize Laureate Thom Mayne of Morphosis as the architect for its new facility. Mayne is the first American in 17 years (since 1991) to be selected for architecture’s most prestigious award, the Pritzker Prize. This achievement capped a three-decade career in which Mayne received more than 100 awards and honors from across the world.
Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA), the world’s largest and most renowned museum interpretative design firm, has completed Phase I of the exhibition interpretive plan for the interior spaces within the Victory Park facility. The goal of the new exhibition spaces is to create one-of-a-kind experiences using hands-on activities, collections and the latest in technological advances to communicate the wonders of nature and science.
The approximately 150,000 square-foot facility will be walking distance from the American Airlines Center, W – Dallas Victory Hotel and House of Blues, and just minutes from the Dallas Arts District, the largest urban cultural district in the country; the Sixth Floor Museum; the Trinity River Corridor Project; and intown districts such as Uptown and Turtle Creek.
Visitors will have easy access to the Museum by riding DART light rail trains to Victory Station at the American Airlines Center; by traveling on any of the nearby roads, including Interstate 35E, Central Expressway and the North Dallas Tollway; or by using the Katy Trail pedestrian/bicycle paths.
About the Museum of Nature & Science
The Museum of Nature & Science - the result of a unique merger in 2006 between the Dallas Museum of Natural History, The Science Place and the Dallas Children's Museum - is a non-profit educational organization located in Dallas' Fair Park. In support of its mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The facility also includes the TI Founders IMAX® Theater and a cutting-edge digital planetarium. The Museum of Nature & Science is supported in part by funds from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Texas Commission on the Arts and EDS. To learn more about the Museum of Nature & Science, please visit www.natureandscience.org.