Early this month, Boeing announced a gift of $30 million to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum to renovate and expand its main exhibition hall on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The 2-year renovation plan will be completed in time for the museum’s 40th anniversary in 2016, which is also the aerospace company’s 100th anniversary.
The contribution is the largest the Smithsonian has ever received from a corporation. This recent Boeing gift brings the total to $58 million the company has given the National Air and Space Museum. In addition to the renovations, the funds will be used to enhance educational programs and other exhibits at the museum, which is largely federally funded.
In appreciation of the gift, the museum will rename the gallery the “Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall.” The Milestones exhibition, which is the museum’s central and largest space, has looked much the same since the museum opened July 1, 1976. More than 310 million people have passed through the exhibition during the museum’s 38 years of operation. The new installation will give the hall a streamlined 21st century look and features themes and displays suited to today’s visitors. The square footage of the exhibition will be enlarged, and the displays will take full advantage of the atrium’s two-story height.
"A big focus of ours as a company is to enhance education and develop a future workforce by helping students, helping educators, helping parents embrace 21st-century skills and inspire innovation," said Steve Lott, Boeing's Head of Communications, North America.
“We’re honored to help preserve the legacy of pioneers who transformed an industry and influenced generations of innovators,” said Boeing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney, according to a press release issued by the National Air and Space Museum. “By supporting the National Air and Space Museum with the renovation and expansion of the gallery, we hope to inspire others to dream, design and build the next game changers in aerospace history.”
The following video entitled, "Inspiring the Next Generation," details Boeing's partnership with the National Air and Space Museum, and how the company is educating and inspiring the next generation to become the air and space visionaries of the future.