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."