News Release: Time Warner Gives $10 Million To Vietnam Veterans Memorial

30 June 2006

Honorary Campaign Chairman Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) announced that Time Warner Inc. has made a $10 million Lead Gift to the Campaign to Build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center, the educational facility that will be built underground near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The Memorial Center will use layers of storytelling and history to teach America’s youth about the Vietnam War and the values shown by those who have served throughout our nation’s history. It will be inspirational and uplifting, using the profound sacrifices shown by those on the Memorial for a larger purpose.  Duty, honor, country and citizenship will be taught at the Center.

“This is an important project of national significance that will enable our young people to gain a better understanding of the Memorial and its impact on our nation’s history,” said Powell in making the announcement. “It is fitting that America should have such a place to reflect on the stories of courage and heroism. When it is completed, I am confident the Memorial Center will serve as a poignant reminder that the freedoms Americans enjoy are bought with a price.”

Powell also announced the formation of the Time Warner Chair in Education within the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, a $200,000 endowment made possible by Time Warner that will support the education programs of the Memorial Fund and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center.

Dr. Bruce Cole, chairman of the National Endowment of the Humanities, announced a matching funds grant of $200,000 for the Time Warner Chair in Education. This grant represents the final portion of a $500,000 earlier grant, which the Memorial Fund had to match three-to-one.

“I am deeply gratified that, with today’s announcement, VVMF has met the NEH’s fundraising challenge—and then some,” noted Dr. Cole.

Sharing in the announcement with Gen. Powell was Time Warner Chairman and CEO Richard D. Parsons. “Time Warner is proud to be the Lead Gift benefactor for this important education center,” he said. “As a leading media company, we have a responsibility not only to entertain, but to inform. We want to do our part to educate current and future generations about the sacrifices and values of American soldiers—not just in Vietnam, but throughout history and up to the present day.”

Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, noted that the Time Warner gift is the largest ever received by the Memorial Fund in its 27-year history. “We are awed by Time Warner’s generosity and support for this project,” Scruggs said. “The corporation’s position as lead benefactor for a facility on the National Mall that will communicate lessons about citizenship, courage and the price of war is testament to Time Warner’s preeminence as a global leader in communications.”

Campaign Chairman Dr. Christos M. Cotsakos also commented on the gift. “A Lead Gift of this magnitude is the perfect kick-off for our fundraising campaign, which is estimated to take three to five years,” he noted. “The Memorial Center must be built entirely with private funds, and Time Warner’s demonstrated patronage will inspire other corporations, foundations and individuals to join us in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which will be our collective gift to the American people when it is completed.” Cotsakos is the founder, chairman and CEO of Mainstream Holdings.

President George W. Bush signed legislation in 2003 authorizing a Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center to be built underground near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This was the result of a legislative effort championed by Congressman Richard Pombo (R–Calif.) and Sen.  Chuck Hagel (R–Neb.). The Center is estimated to cost $75 million to $100 million.

The Memorial Fund conducted a months-long national design contest in 2004 and chose Polshek Partnership Architects and Ralph Appelbaum & Associates Inc. to design the Center. Among the team’s combined architectural and exhibit design credits are the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Ark.; the American Museum of Natural History, Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City; the underground Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City; and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

In the same year, the Memorial Fund established an advisory board of veterans, educators, historians and journalists, led by Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, USA (Ret.), to guide the content of the Memorial Center, and a committee of landscape architects and experts to determine the ideal site for the facility. Approval of the site is expected by year’s end, with groundbreaking anticipated in 2009.

Time Warner Inc. is a leading media and entertainment company, whose businesses include interactive services, cable systems, filmed entertainment, television networks and publishing.

Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is the nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Today, through a series of outreach programs, it is dedicated to preserving the legacy of The Wall, promoting healing, educating about the impact of the Vietnam War and is building the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center, an underground educational facility, near The Wall.
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