American University announced Wednesday it has been given a conference venue in Northern Virginia known as the Airlie Center, a donation valued at about $15 million.

The private university in Washington, D.C. said Airlie’s board of directors approved the gift of the 300-acre estate in Warrenton. Airlie, a well-known gathering point for diplomats and heads of state, and the scene of talks in the 1960s among civil rights leaders, is about 48 miles from AU’s campus in Northwest Washington.

“The university is honored to have been selected for this wonderful gift. It is our intent to carry on the very impressive and important legacy of Airlie, while leveraging this marvelous facility for American University’s academic initiatives,” AU President Neil Kerwin said in a statement.

The donation is among the largest the university has received. In 2005, Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen donated $20 million to AU to establish and endow an arts center. That set a record for the school.

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