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March 25, 2003

Colonial Williamsburg Reports Record Donors for 2002 Foundation's Admissions Decline 10 Percent While Budget Deficit Improves

The number of annual donors to Colonial Williamsburg surpassed the 100,000 mark in 2002 for the first time as the foundation reported record levels for the Colonial Williamsburg Fund, a core component of the institution’s annual fund-raising efforts.

The fund set two new records as the number of donors climbed to almost 103,000 – six percent higher than the 2001 figure of 97,000 – and annual donations rose to $11.6 million – eight percent higher than the $10.7 million in 2001. Overall, Colonial Williamsburg ended the year with a near-record total for gifts and grants of $46 million, 18 percent above 2001 and just $700,000 shy of the record established in 2000, a year that included a one-time $15 million gift. By year’s end, the Campaign for Colonial Williamsburg – the Foundation’s comprehensive multi-year, fund-raising effort that runs through December 2005 -- reached $300 million, 60 percent of its $500 million goal.

“I am heartened by the continued and growing support for Colonial Williamsburg demonstrated by our donors. Their support is vital to the fulfillment of our educational mission,” said Colin G. Campbell, president and chairman of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “It comes at a troubled time in our history, when the nation can take comfort from the resolve and steadfastness of the first American patriots here in Williamsburg.”

Total ticketed admissions to Colonial Williamsburg in 2002 slipped 10 percent to 840,000, down from 931,000 in 2001. Paid admissions dropped nine percent to 803,000 from 886,000 in 2001. Although admission revenue was down eight percent in 2002, the foundation’s operating deficit improved to $34.7 million from $36.7 million in 2001 – a five percent change.

“We certainly are concerned about the admissions decline. Fortunately, though, Colonial Williamsburg fared better than many other historic sites and similar institutions around the country,” said Campbell. “We know that several factors contributed to our attendance drop in 2002, including the series of sniper incidents in the Washington, D.C. region, the lingering impact on the travel industry of the September 11 terror attacks and fears about impending war, and Americans’ concerns regarding the weak economy.”

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that operates the restored 18th-century capital of Virginia. Known worldwide as the nation’s largest living history museum, Colonial Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free (800) HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121