Arts Post
Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 01/25/2012

Smithsonian lists largest donors in 2011

In 2011 the largest donors to the Smithsonian Institution gave their funds to specific programs---from pandas to endowments for directors’ positions--at the museum.
Giant Panda Mei Xiang (Matt McClain/For The Washington Post)

Secretary G. Wayne Clough said surpassing the fund-raising goal of $175 million for last year was a good trend and the gifts “fit into our strategic plan.” The amount raised was $182 million.

The biggest gift came from Dame Jillian Sackler, who gave $5 million to endow the director’s chair at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art.

David M. Rubenstein, a local philanthropist and cofounder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, donated $4.5 million to the panda programs and fellowships at the National Zoo. Rubenstein is a regent of the Smithsonian.

Paul Neely, the chairman of the Smithsonian National Board and former editor and publisher of the Chattanooga Times, gave $2.8 million. The Neely donation goes to two fellowships in history or culture under the James Smithson Fellowship program.

Another regent, Alan G.Spoon, general partner of Polaris Venture Partners and former president of The Washington Post Co., contributed $1.2 million from the Alan and Terri Spoon Family Foundation. The gift is for the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum. The Cooper Hewitt also received $1 million from the Janet and Arthur Ross Foundation and the reading room will be named for the late Arthur Ross.

Clough also reported Monday that despite the uncertainty of the stock market, the Smithsonian endowment remains near $1 billion.

By  |  08:00 AM ET, 01/25/2012

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