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Huntington's First Comprehensive Fund-Raising Campaign Ends with Goal Greatly Surpassed
Visitors take souvenir photos of the Amorphophallus titanum, the so-called corpse flower, known for its odor similar to rotting flesh, at the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif., Thursday, June 18, 2009. The plant, which is blooming for the first time, is being called "Son of Stinky" because it was propagated from a seed from another corpse flower that bloomed at the Huntington in 1999, the first such bloom ever in California. AP Photo/Reed Saxon.
SAN MARINO, CA.- The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens announced this week the successful completion of “For Generations to Come—The Campaign for The Huntington,” a six-year, $175 million fund-raising initiative—the most comprehensive in the institution’s history. Launched in July 2004, the Campaign will end officially on June 30 with an estimated $243 million raised. Gifts are still being counted, with final totals expected in the coming weeks.

“Six years ago we set a goal that seemed very ambitious at the time, but we knew it was absolutely imperative,” said Steven S. Koblik, president of The Huntington. “The Huntington and its collections provide unparalleled research and educational opportunities, but inadequate resources had prevented the institution from fulfilling its potential. With the Campaign’s accomplishments, we have made important strides toward financial equilibrium, developed our programmatic offerings in ways we never could have imagined, and engaged thousands more people in the process. I call that a stunning success.”

The Campaign focused on attracting gifts in three categories: annual operating funds that support the core mission of research and education; capital gifts to maintain the institution’s infrastructure and preserve the historic Huntington estate; and new endowments that provide income in perpetuity to support staff, protect the collections, and fund research and educational programs.

Expanded community involvement was a key accomplishment of the effort. During the course of the Campaign, membership increased 20 percent to 30,000. The Huntington’s Society of Fellows, the philanthropic group providing the largest amount in contributions each year, grew 24 percent to 300 families. Relationships with the Chinese and Chinese American communities were crucial in funding the $18 million Liu Fang Yuan (流芳園), a new Chinese garden completed in 2008 that reflects traditional Suzhou-style scholar gardens.

The Campaign resulted in several other dramatic developments on The Huntington’s grounds. The Huntington Art Gallery, Henry and Arabella Huntington’s historic residence, where the institution’s European art collection is displayed, underwent an extensive renovation and reinstallation. The new Dibner Hall of the History of Science was created to showcase the Burndy Library, a gift of rare books and manuscripts from the Dibner family that established The Huntington as one of the top research centers for the history of science and technology.

Another improvement made with Campaign support transformed the American art galleries, doubling the space allocated to the Huntington’s American art collection.

Gifts in kind (gifts of objects as opposed to monetary gifts) also were of major importance to the Campaign, though their value is excluded from the official totals. The Burndy Library alone, for example, includes such rare treasures as a 1544 edition of Archimedes’ Philosophi ac Geometrae, a first edition of Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica (1687), and the scientific library of Louis Pasteur (1822–1895).

“Gifts in kind have a snowball effect,” said George Abdo, vice president for advancement at The Huntington. “Often made along with endowment gifts to support their stewardship, these materials stimulate new scholarship as well as additional gifts and grants.” Among other pivotal gifts in kind to the Campaign include a group of major collections reflecting the history of the aerospace industry in Southern California; an extensive photographic archive from Edison International depicting the early development of the region; the monumental Sam Francis painting, Free Floating Clouds (1980) that dominates the mid-20th-century room of the American art galleries; and a gift of 7,000 orchids that, according to the Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens, James Folsom, constitute one of the finest collections of orchids in public or private hands.

“For Generations to Come—The Campaign for The Huntington” was led by the late Nancy Munger, honorary chair, and co-chairs Ruth B. Shannon and Robert F. Erburu.

“Quite simply, this Campaign was successful because it had at its helm some of the most intelligent and energetic minds in philanthropy,” said Stewart R. Smith, chair of The Huntington’s Board of Trustees. “Their boundless enthusiasm and vision have made Huntington history, and paired with the skills and dedication of Huntington staff, we had a winning formula.”

The Huntington Library | Steven S. Koblik | San Marino |




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