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September 15, 2006

Foundation's first comprehensive campaign surpasses goal

The Campaign for Colonial Williamsburg has surpassed the $500 million goal with gifts, grants and pledges totaling more than $510 million. Publicly launched in September 2001 during the Foundation’s 75th Anniversary year with $256 million already raised, and concluding August 31, 2006, this is the first comprehensive fund-raising campaign undertaken by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

“We are grateful to the thousands of donors who have made Colonial Williamsburg’s first comprehensive campaign such a great success,” said Colin G. Campbell, chairman and president of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “Their generosity includes important support for preservation and reconstruction in the Historic Area, for new educational facilities and for endowing key positions. It permits us to strengthen our commitment to scholarly research and to the use of new technology, and it provides the underpinning for introducing and sustaining innovative and engaging programming both on site and across the country.”

During the last five years, Colonial Williamsburg has received 30 gifts of at least $1 million. Planned gifts (estate distributions, life income and life estate gifts, and campaign bequests) comprise more than 20 percent of the campaign total. Annual support from the Colonial Williamsburg Fund is a core component of the Foundation’s fund-raising efforts and accounted for $111 million from more than 290,000 donors.

“Colonial Williamsburg is worthy of our support, because it is researching and preserving the critical founding years of America’s history, and presenting that history to a diverse public in delightful and creative ways, while connecting the past to our own time,” said Campaign co-chair and senior trustee Estelle “Nicki” Tanner of New York City. “In this Campaign, thousands of individuals have recognized Colonial Williamsburg’s role in educating future generations of citizens. The results are inspiring.”

Campaign co-chair and senior trustee Bob Wilson of Los Angeles said, “Williamsburg is a living community dedicated to preserving and conveying how our nation struggled and fought for what we in the 21st century too often take for granted. Its relevance is timeless. I’m so
grateful for donors from around the country who have accepted the responsibility to support Colonial Williamsburg.”

The campaign focused on Colonial Williamsburg’s “people, place and purpose,” with contributions supporting every area of the Foundation’s mission. Examples of the generous support include gifts to create several endowed educational positions and underwrite interpreter training, build and support operations at the Bruton Heights School Education Center, establish preservation endowments for six Historic Area buildings and seven gardens, reconstruct the Peyton Randolph kitchen and outbuildings, restore Bassett Hall, construct Great Hopes Plantation and build and endow a new stables complex.

Donors affirmed with hundreds of gifts their commitment to an intensified educational outreach program of Electronic Field Trips and teacher seminars. Support for the Foundation’s new Education for Citizenship emphasis both on and off site drew strong support during the last years of the campaign. Commitments provided funds for numerous innovative Historic Area activities (including the Revolutionary City program), the coach and livestock program, museum exhibitions and collections acquisitions, and historical research.

Colonial Williamsburg also received as part of the campaign a major collection of 18th-century decorative arts; an extensive collection of colonial currency and medals; a distinguished English stoneware and earthenware collection; and American historical documents including a rare 1823 William Stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence.

“The completion of the campaign is a critically important milestone for Colonial Williamsburg,” Campbell said. “This initiative has brought many new friends into an active role in the Foundation and reaffirmed highly valued relationships. We want to thank the thousands of donors nationwide for their generosity and to encourage their continuing engagement with Colonial Williamsburg.”


  • The Campaign for Colonial Williamsburg is the largest funding initiative since the restoration of the 18th-century capital of colonial Virginia began in 1926.

  • Funds raised during the Campaign help support the foundation’s educational mission and continue to fulfill founder John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s vision for Colonial Williamsburg, “that the future may learn from the past.”

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that restores, preserves and operates the 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia, encompassed in the 301-acre Historic Area. Gifts to Colonial Williamsburg support program presentations in Historic Area buildings, trade shops and museums, acquisition and conservation of art and artifacts, building preservation and maintenance, production of publications and audiovisual programs and the research, documentation and interpretive training fundamental to the foundation’s educational activities. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C.

Media Contact:
Tom Shrout
(757) 220-7265