The Museum of Life and Science in Durham, N.C., announced the generous donation of $2 million from the Barnes Family Foundation―the largest single gift from a private donor in the Museum’s eight-decade history.
“The Museum is more than a place to learn; it’s also a place to find belonging and collaboration, especially among young people,” said Lee Barnes. “The Museum inspires creativity in toddlers, kindergarteners, and elementary school kids. And hopefully, that can turn into innovation in high school and beyond. As adults, they can expand our collective knowledge and conduct original research that may change the world for the better.”
The Barnes Family Foundation’s generous donation will support renovations and maintenance to the new Barnes Welcome Hall and help the Museum continue to deliver high-quality educational experiences for visitors. It will also create a permanent endowment to support the Museum’s ongoing growth and improvement, summer camp scholarships, and expand its outreach to underserved families in the Triangle.
“Encouraging people to go into STEM fields is so important today,” Barnes said. “And it can start right here at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science.”
Barnes, a longtime Durham community member and business owner who frequently brought his children to the Museum, donated on behalf of the Barnes Family Foundation.
“We thank the Barnes Family Foundation for their historic gift,” said Carrie Heinonen, chief executive officer of the Museum of Life and Science. “This gift will fuel our ability to ensure that the Museum remains a vital cultural resource for the Triangle community that educates and inspires families across the state.
To celebrate the donation and thank the Barnes Family Foundation, the Museum of Life and Science hosted a special reception on 24 February, to unveil the new Barnes Welcome Hall at the Museum.
“We are deeply grateful for the Barnes Family Foundation’s support,” said Heinonen. “Their gift will make a lasting impact on the Museum and the communities we serve. We hope that it ushers in a new era of philanthropy at the Museum of Life and Science.”
Photo Credit: © Museum of Life and Science
Edited by Sarah Gilsoul, a writer and communications program assistant at AZA
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