The Mariners’ Museum’s Completes USS Monitor Center Campaign, Surpasses $30 Million Goal

The Mariners’ Museum, Newport News, Va.-Timothy J. Sullivan, president and CEO of The Mariners’ Museum recently anounced thatthe Capital Campaign for America’s premier Civil War attraction, the USS Monitor Center, has been completed, surpassing its $30 million goal. Of the total raised, $9.2 million were provided by the Museum’s partner, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuary Program. The City of Newport News committed $5.5 million, and the Commonwealth of Virginia provided more than $2.5 million.
    “The Campaign for the USS Monitor Center is the largest undertaken by the Museum in its 75-year history,” said The Mariners’ Museum Board of Trustees Chairman Alan Diamonstein. “Without the fantastic support of NOAA and the support of both local and national donors, we could not have reached-and exceeded-such a remarkable goal.”
    “Successful completion of the Capital Campaign and the significant commitment by our partners at NOAA are a testament to the Monitor Center’s importance in this great country’s history,” said Museum President and CEO Timothy J. Sullivan. “Since we opened the doors to the new Center last March, we have seen a 67% increase in visitation. Without the generous support of our Campaign donors, that could not have been accomplished.”

Campaign Highlights

– The Museum’s Board of Trustees gave exceptionally strong support to the Campaign, including a $2 million challenge grant gift made in 2003 by Media Executive and Museum Trustee Frank Batten. For every $2 the Museum raised from corporations, foundations or individuals, Batten provided $1.
– The Museum successfully completed the Batten Challenge in September 2006, raising a total of $6 million.
– The Mariners’ Museum announced a $1 million gift from Ted Segerstrom and his family in 2005. This gift was the largest ever committed by a family outside of the Hampton Roads region in the history of the Museum.  
– Northrop Grumman Newport News designed and built a full-scale sculptural representation of the USS Monitor as an added feature to the USS Monitor Center. The value of this in-kind gift is in excess of $1 million.
– In late 2006, the prestigious Kresge Foundation awarded The Mariners’ Museum a $600,000 challenge grant to encourage additional support for the USS Monitor Center Campaign. The Mariners’ Museum received the grant upon successful completion of the Campaign goal.

    On March 9, 2007, The Mariners’ Museum and its partners at NOAA opened the doors to the new $30 million, 63,500-square-foot USS Monitor Center. This wing is home to artifacts such as the turret, steam engine and cannon; a major interactive exhibition entitled Ironclad Revolution which tells the story of the USS Monitor, the CSS Virginia; the men who served on both vessels, and the story of the men and women of the 20th and 21st centuries who have gone to heroic lengths to discover, recover and conserve over 1200 artifacts from the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.” Visitors can walk on a full-scale replica of the Monitor, experience the drama of the Battle of Hampton Roads in a high definition theater and observe the intricate hands-on conservation taking place in one of the largest state-of-the-art conservation facilities on the East Coast.

    The USS Monitor Center is included with Museum admission. For more information, visit or call 757-596-2222.

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