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September 6, 2002

Continued investments in programs, staff, facilities highlighted in CW's 2001 Annual Report

Colonial Williamsburg’s recently released 2001 Annual Report details program and fund-raising highlights, as well as financial results for the year ended December 31, 2001. For that year, the Board of Trustees approved a budget that incorporated a planned operating deficit of $37.8 million, which reflected the next phase of a multi-year series of necessary investments in programs, staff and facilities to ensure the long-term financial health of the organization and the ongoing fulfillment of the foundation’s educational mission.

As a result of these strategic initiatives, the negative financial impact of which will continue for the next several years, Colonial Williamsburg reported an operating deficit of $36.7 million for 2001, $1.1 million less than budgeted. A revenue shortfall of $9.4 million that resulted from the slowing economy and the events of September 11 was offset by expenditure savings of $10.5 million.

Colonial Williamsburg’s endowment increased by $82.4 million to $673.8 million, reflecting the transfer of assets from the DeWitt Wallace Fund for Colonial Williamsburg to the foundation as well as successful fundraising, offset in part by realized and unrealized depreciation in the market value of endowment assets. Overall, Colonial Williamsburg recorded its second best fund-raising year in 2001 with total gifts and grants of $38.9 million.

“Colonial Williamsburg faced considerable external challenges in 2001, including the effects of September 11, the weakening economy and a declining stock market,” said Colin G. Campbell, Colonial Williamsburg president, chairman and chief executive officer. “At the same time, we also faced internal, largely anticipated financial pressures resulting from major construction projects, needed compensation initiatives, increased staffing levels to improve the visitor and guest experience and to improve financial functions, and important planned preservation work in the Historic Area.”

Highlights mentioned in the Colonial Williamsburg Annual Report include: 2001 Historic Area accomplishments, such as the newly-reconstructed two-story kitchen behind the Peyton Randolph House, the restored and refurnished Wetherburn’s Tavern and the substantially renovated Christiana Campbell’s Tavern. In addition, the foundation’s “Becoming Americans” storyline, begun in 1996, was completed last year. Efforts continued to refine the foundation’s educational programs and expand educational outreach endeavors, including enhanced Electronic Field Trips and an expanded Colonial Williamsburg web site, Finally, the foundation celebrated its 75th Anniversary and the public launch of the Campaign for Colonial Williamsburg, a $500 million comprehensive effort to be completed by December 31, 2005.

Completing a program begun in 1999, Colonial Williamsburg implemented the final phase of an initiative to improve salary and wage rates for foundation employees, particularly those who work in the Historic Area. In addition, Colonial Williamsburg opened the newly renovated Williamsburg Inn, the expanded and renovated Visitor Center, the new Woodlands Hotel & Suites, the Kimball Theatre in Merchants Square, and continued its planned preservation program in the Historic Area to revitalize and restore buildings and structures. The total expenditures for capital purposes in the years 2000, 2001 and 2002 will total almost $150 million.

Reiterating the importance of Colonial Williamsburg’s educational mission, “that the future may learn from the past,” Campbell noted that the foundation currently is engaged in a long-term, cross-divisional strategic planning process intended to sharpen the focus of the foundation’s not-for-profit and for-profit activities and ensure the organization achieves financial equilibrium by 2006, a condition that includes a balanced budget.

“Colonial Williamsburg’s performance in the face of last year’s pressures underscores the power of our message, the commitment of our employees and the dedication of our donors and friends,” said Campbell. “That commitment, for which I am deeply grateful, is essential as we move forward during this time of economic uncertainty. Now more than ever, America needs Colonial Williamsburg and the lessons it teaches about our nation’s past–and present.”

Media Contact:
Tim Andrews
(757) 220-7265