$400K gift to launch Ward Museum Capital Campaign

The Salisbury University Foundation, Inc. and Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University, recently announced a $400,000 lead gift for the museum’s 2014-2016 “Soar to New Heights” capital campaign.

The campaign’s goal is $1.5 million to support the expansion of the Ward Museum and much-needed capital improvements to the galleries and facility.

John A. Luetkemeyer Jr. and Thomas F. Mullan III donated a combined gift of $400,000 for the construction of a new facility at the museum to be named in honor their late fathers as the John A. Luetkemeyer Sr. and Thomas F. Mullan Jr. Legacy Center.

The new building will add 2,200 square feet to the museum and be used as an education center and flexible meeting space to serve the growing needs of educational and cultural programs for all ages. The center will enable the museum to serve grade-wide school field trips for the first time. It will also incorporate environmentally sustainable design, including solar paneling and geothermal technology.

“The Ward Museum is grateful for the amazing generosity of Mr. Luetkemeyer and Mr. Mullan. The donors and their fathers are prominent philanthropists in Baltimore and beyond, and this gift will have a major impact in the Salisbury community,” said Lora Bottinelli, executive director of the Ward Museum.

“The Legacy Center will bring a new generation in closer connection to the outdoors through the educational programs it will support and will be a lasting tribute to John A. Luetkemeyer Sr. and Thomas F. Mullan Jr.,” she said.

The new building is the centerpiece of the museum’s campaign. Funds raised also will support gallery renovations, including the museum’s namesake Ward Brothers Gallery, smart classroom technology improvements to education rooms, roadside signage replacement, retail area renovations, collection storage area upgrades, and landscaping and public sculpture garden enhancements.

The Legacy Center expansion and additional improvements should enable the museum to meet its educational service goals for the coming decade, Bottinelli said.

“The Ward Museum has so much to offer the community and Salisbury University,” said SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach.

“The Legacy Center and other improvements will position the museum to support and serve our area with a new level of excellence for years to come …It is an exciting time for the museum and the university,” Dudley-Eschbach said.

“We look forward to the completion of the John A. Luetkemeyer Sr. and Thomas F. Mullan Jr. Legacy Center, and the incredible positive impact it will have on our community.”

Salisbury University’s Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art features the world’s largest public collection of decorative wildfowl art and antique decoys.

The museum is named in honor of famed Delmarva carvers Stephen and Lemuel Ward and strives to lead the way for advancing the understanding of wildfowl art and the interrelationships of art, nature and tradition.

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