National WWII Museum Receives $20 Million to Complete Expansion

National WWII Museum Receives $20 Million to Complete Expansion

The in New Orleans has announced a $20 million gift from former board chair Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger.

The largest gift to the museum to date will be used to add an iconic architectural piece to the six-acre campus — the Canopy of Peace, which Bollinger calls "the finishing touch" to  a $115 million expansion of the museum. Designed to grace the New Orleans skyline, the Canopy of Peace is scheduled for completion in 2017. In recognition of the gift, a portion of  which will be added to the museum's endowment, the museum's Stage Door Canteen, a 1940s-style entertainment space that serves as a living exhibit for music of the World War II era, will be renamed BB's Stage Door Canteen.

Founded in 2000 as the D-Day Museum and designated by Congress as the official WWII museum of the United States, the museum will unveil its Road to Tokyo: Pacific Theater Galleries, completing the newly constructed Campaigns of Courage pavilion, in December 2015. Bollinger, president and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards, became involved in the D-Day Museum twenty years ago.

"I've always said that we are going to build a world-class museum," said Bollinger. "Stephen Ambrose convinced me that this museum was going to last for generations. My attitude is that we are going to take a little longer [to complete the campus], but we are going to do it right, and we're going to build it to last."

"The National WWII Museum Receives Major Individual Donation to Help Complete Expansion" National WWII Museum Press Release 03/23/2015.