National Air and Space Museum
$120 Million goal
Our Goal: $120 Million
The National Air and Space Museum celebrates pioneers, inventors and heroes in aeronautics. It safeguards treasures to ensure that the story of aviation and space flight is told for generations. This collection and the museum’s researchers, curators and educators inspire young people to pursue science and engineering. The Smithsonian Campaign will secure a promising future for the world’s foremost air and space museum.
At the National Air and Space Museum, we launch journeys of discovery that last a lifetime. They start from the moment visitors enter our doors and stand nose to nose with iconic treasures like the Spirit of St. Louis and the Space Shuttle Discovery. We tell stories that capture centuries of human technological progress and prowess.
We are one of the world’s most visited museums, with an expansive collection of aircraft and artifacts housed in two locations. We strive to commemorate the achievements of those who have come before us and ignite the hearts and imaginations of the next generation to dream bigger, fly faster and explore farther. We make concepts in science, technology, engineering and math come alive through hands-on activities that demonstrate the physics of flight. We use telescopes to share the beauty of the universe. We go beyond the physical walls of the museum to create a virtual experience that captures the attention of future explorers across the country and around the world.
Our mission is critical: The work we do today lays the foundation for the pioneers of the next century of flight, who will set new records and shatter past boundaries. Please join us as we invest in those pioneers and preserve the compelling stories of our past. Your contributions will help shape our future.
- J.R. DaileyDirector, National Air and Space Museum
- Capt. James A. Lovell, USN (Ret.)Honorary Campaign Chair, National Air and Space Museum
Reaching New Frontiers
Farsighted leaders, among them, an Apollo astronaut and a four-star general, have built an unparalleled collection and transformed the museum into a living laboratory and classroom. Their success is due to their expertise and experience and their passion for flight.
Under these extraordinary directors, the museum has made discoveries on Mercury, the moon and Mars and produced the most definitive research on spacesuits. The museum seeks the resources to continue to attract top-flight innovators.
One of our priorities is to endow the museum’s directorship. This is the most prestigious and important opportunity to invest in the museum’s future.
A newly-renovated exhibition, Destination Moon, will open almost 50 years after Americans first walked on the moon. The race to space between the Americans and the Soviets will be illustrated through historic artifacts, such as the Apollo 11 command module and Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit. Interactive displays will add dimension and context to iconic objects.
Young people will see themselves as the next inventors and explorers through remarkable collections displayed in new ways to tell stories and honor history. Your investment in this exhibition will enable us to convey the enormity of the accomplishments of America’s space program.
Every year, thousands of preschool students discover the wonder of science, engineering, technology and math at the museum. We introduce them to the vast field of aviation and space through plays, puppet shows, story times and more. We train early childhood teachers in science-based concepts.
These programs are so successful we are expanding them to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. An investment in our early childhood education will allow us to build a learning center and endow programming.
The National Air and Space Museum
is raising $120 million of the Smithsonian Campaign’s overall $1.5 billion goal.
Leadership: The Director (FUNDED)
We seek a total of $10 million to endow the director’s position.
Exhibitions: Destination Moon
Naming recognition for this exhibition requires a gift of $15 million. Other gift opportunities range from $100,000 to $1 million.
Education: Early Childhood
We seek $10 million for the Early Childhood Center and Program at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. A gift of $5 million will endow programming for the new center.
Sharing the Wonder of Air and Space with Future Generations
Sharing the Wonder of Air and Space with Future Generations
For three decades, Adrienne and John Mars have supported the Smithsonian with gifts and leadership. Adrienne Mars has served on the boards of the National Air and Space Museum and National Zoological Park, on the Regents’ Advancement Committee, and on the Smithsonian National Board. “For the campaign, we wanted to make an endowment gift because it’s an investment that lasts forever,” she says. So they decided to endow the director position at the Air and Space Museum, currently held by Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey. The position is now named the John and Adrienne Mars Director. “John and I learned to fly planes before we became involved with the museum, and my husband is particularly interested in space” says Adrienne Mars. “We’re excited about the museum’s work to restore artifacts of flight and to educate the next generations so they, too, experience the wonder of aviation and space.” The couple also endowed the director position at the Zoo’s Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
Veteran Honors Those Special to Him
In memory of those who flew with him in WW II, Richard Russell established a charitable remainder trust for the National Air and Space Museum—a meaningful gift to the museum, which provides income for Russell and his beneficiaries. To honor his late wife, he created another planned gift to benefit the National Zoological Park and the National Museum of Natural History. "You do as much as you can for society. Philanthropy made this country, and the Smithsonian shows us just how great we can be," he says.
A Family Contributes to the Nation's Aviation Legacy
Two generations of the Engen family have helped shape the National Air and Space Museum. Vice Adm. Donald D. Engen (U.S. Navy) served as the museum’s director and oversaw the planning of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. His wife, Mary Baker Engen, a museum board member, dedicated herself to helping complete the center after his death in 1999. A recent campaign gift from the couple’s son and daughter-in-law, Travis Engen and Anne Engen, endows the Engen Conservation Chair and also supports fellowships. A previous gift of theirs, to the construction of the Udvar-Hazy Center, supported its restoration facility, which is named in memory of Mary Baker Engen. Part of their gift provided an endowment to always keep the facility in top shape. The first artifact restored was the Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver, the type of aircraft Donald D. Engen flew in World War II. "My father had a life in aviation. This is something he really enjoyed and my mother fully supported. Our recent gift is a continuation of our interest in the future of the musuem," says Travis Engen
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Passing on a Passion for Flying
Barron Hilton has loved flying since he was a boy. His passion turned into a philanthropic priority. He has supported the National Air and Space Museum through his family’s foundation, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, for years. Recently, he established the Barron Hilton Endowed Fund to showcase pioneers of flight and their stories and create an early childhood education program at the museum in Washington, D.C. Now, the museum seeks an additional endowment to expand this successful education initiative to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, so that other donors may pass down their passion for aviation to new generations. “The adventure of flight inspired my father, Barron Hilton. Through this endowment, his passion for aviation will be passed down for generations.”
Guyette, James and Anita
Helping Dreams Become Careers
James M. Guyette has spent his career in aviation and transportation, first, at United Airlines and most recently as president and CEO of Rolls-Royce North America Inc. He and his wife, Anita K. Guyette, have established an endowed fund at the National Air and Space Museum to support the museum’s Education Department Student Intern Program. The James M. and Anita K. Guyette Endowed Fund gives preference to students pursuing an education or career in aviation, science, technology, engineering or math. David Dubczak, a middle school computer technology teacher in Iowa, was the first intern this past summer. During his internship at the air and space museum, he helped plan and organize a professional development program for the District of Columbia Public School teachers. “A gift to the National Air and Space Museum connects you to a world-class institution that represents the best of America – both our technology and the American spirit of dreaming and reaching beyond,” says Jim Guyette.
Zemrowski and McKeen
Philanthropic Relationship Honored at the Bay Started Long Ago
Susan MacKeen and Ken Zemrowski launched their wedding reception from the dock of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center on the Richard Lee boat in 2012, toasting their relationship together and with the institution. The couple had spent time volunteering at the Chesapeake Bay research center before the reception, but their relationship with the Smithsonian had started a long time prior to that. Zemrowski, a member of the Smithsonian Legacy Society, has provided for the Smithsonian through his estate plan and established a charitable gift annuity. His first date with MacKeen was attending the Smithsonian Annual Weekend in 2010. Both have been members of Smithsonian Associates, Friends of the National Zoo, the National Air and Space Society and the James Smithson Society. Through these associations, they have met conservation scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., and toured behind-the-scenes at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. “I like museums. I also like knowledge. I resonate with ‘the increase and diffusion of knowledge,’ the Smithsonian’s mission. It is an important mission. The Smithsonian is, after all, not just the bricks and mortar on the National Mall,” says Zemrowski.
Answering the Call, Securing the Future
Dorothy E. Ebersbach was a heroine in an era of great heroes. Earning her pilots license in 1939, she joined the small, elite Women Airforce Service Pilots in World War II as a test pilot. Since she couldn’t fly as fighter pilot, Ebersbach flew moving targets for soldiers to practice shooting at airborne objects. Years later, she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest award Congress bestows to civilians. After the war, she turned in her flight wings and earned a nursing degree. Even then, she was at the forefront of many campaigns to immunize residents of Florida, especially polio. She was a member of the Friends of the Smithsonian for more than 30 years. And when she passed away in 2011, she left a generous bequest to the Smithsonian. In keeping with her status as a pioneering aviator, a portion supports the National Air and Space Museum's National Women in Aviation Collection. The remainder builds the Smithsonian’s endowment.
Crowdfunding Reboots the Suit
Crowdfunding Reboots the Suit
The Smithsonian's Kickstarter campaign to Reboot the Suit captured the nation's imagination and raised the most funds ever for a museum on the online crowdfunding platform. Launched in July, the campaign sought $500,000 to conserve, digitize and display Neil Armstrong's fragile Apollo 11 moon landing suit, a prize of the National Air and Space Museum's collection. Reboot the Suit touched off a frenzy of coast-to-coast coverage in print, broadcast and social media, and it inspired an outpouring of support from thousands of donors. The campaign beat its goal in just five days and, by the end of August, achieved an added, stretch goal to conserve Alan Shepard's spacesuit, the first worn by an American in space. Overall, Reboot the Suit raised $719,779 from 9,477 donors, the majority of them new to the Smithsonian. Both suits will be featured in Destination Moon, an exhibition opening in 2020. In 2019 Armstrong's suit will also be displayed in a temporary exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.
All Fired Up About STEM
All Fired Up About STEM
Allan Holt understands the power of the National Air and Space Museum to ignite children's excitement about aviation and space exploration. A member of the museum's board, he and his wife, Shelley, made a gift through the Hillside Foundation to endow a museum outreach program to increase middle school students' competency and interest in science, technology, engineering and math (also known as STEM subjects). The Holt Scholars Program works with underserved schools to provide professional development for teachers, classroom activities, webcasts and museum field trips for hundreds of students.