Elizabeth Kanost
Spencer Museum of Art

Friends, donors contribute $7.4M to Spencer Museum phase I renovation

Wed, 09/16/2015

LAWRENCE — Nearly 200 donors have contributed $7.4 million to support the Spencer Museum of Art Phase I Renovation, exceeding the initial $5 million fundraising goal established in 2012. More than $5.8 million of the total was given by 11 leadership donors, whose gifts range from $100,000 to $1.36 million. Members of the Spencer museum’s national and local advisory boards championed the fundraising initiative, contributing nearly 40 percent of the total funds raised.

“I am inspired by the generous support of so many donors to realize this collective dream that will benefit students, faculty and the public for years to come,” Spencer Museum Director Saralyn Reece Hardy said.

Phase I addresses 30,000 square feet of the museum’s galleries, teaching and research facilities, gathering spaces and collections storage. The commitment of donors has allowed the museum to expand the scope of the project to improve additional gallery and public spaces and address a number of longstanding accessibility and infrastructure needs. This is the first broad renovation of the museum since it was built in 1977.

Recent major donations to the campaign include gifts by Sam and Connie Perkins, Olathe; Pam and Dolph Simons Jr., Lawrence; M.D. Michaelis of Emprise Financial Center, Wichita; and Linda and John T. Stewart, Lawrence and Wellington.

“We are proud that this gift will create a beautiful space for students and community members to interact with world-class art and artists, and will affirm the central role of art to teaching, learning and research at the University of Kansas,” Sam and Connie Perkins said.

Ahead of these recent major gifts, an anonymous donation to the campaign was given to honor longtime curator Stephen Goddard through the creation of a new suite advancing the study and care of the museum’s collection of works on paper.

Gifts to Phase I count toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.

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