The late George Weyerhaeuser Jr. photo: ken emly. courtesy: museum of glass.
The Museum of Glass of Tacoma, Washington recently received a $1 million gift from the Weyerhaeuser family in honor of one of the museum’s late board members, George Weyerhaeuser, Jr. Weyerhaeuser served on the Museum of Glass board for 14 years, including four as board chair. A memorial service for the late board member took place at the Museum of Glass on the evening of May 31, 2013 at the Museum of Glass, and his family requested that donations be made to the Museum of Glass or Charles Wright Academy in his memory.
“This amazingly generous gift is a fitting tribute to George Weyerhaeuser, Jr.,” Susan Warner, executive director of the Museum of Glass, said in a prepared statement. “For me, George was a professional colleague and mentor, and most importantly, a friend. George was a magnificent trustee for Museum of Glass and was deeply committed to the Museum and its mission. He served on the Museum’s board from 1999 until his death, and served as board chair from 2004 to 2008. George provided sage counsel to the Museum’s first two directors, and to me when I became Executive Director in 2012. I miss him deeply.”
In addition to being a long-standing Museum of Glass board member, Weyerhaeuser served in many executive positions while at the Weyerhaeuser Company, the prominent timber company co-founded by his great-great grandfather, Frederick Weyerhaeuser. He contributed to numerous boards within the timber industry and was also engaged in many civic events in Tacoma. He was a graduate of Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
While the museum does possess an existing small endowment currently managed by the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, the George Weyerhaeuser, Jr. Memorial Endowment Fund will help provide some financial security and help secure its future as a nonprofit organization. The gift was taken as an opportunity for the museum to launch an endowment campaign, which has also announced that the Weyerhaeuser family has pledged $500,000 in matching funds for other gifts up to
$100,000. This will serve to encourage others to donate to the endowment fund.
The endowment will be kept in perpetuity, though the precise whereabouts of its potential internal investments are still being determined. In an email exchange with the Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet, Warner stated: “The Museum is currently researching endowment policies and procedures for how the money will be invested and what the draw on earnings will be. Most endowment draws in museums are no more than 4% of earnings.”
Warner also stated that the museum plans for the endowment drive to assist with “operational fundraising efforts because it provides a future certainty of financial security.” Warner said the institution has multiple fundraising tracks going forward, such as its annual Red Hot Party & Auction.
For more information on how to support the museum, visit museumofglass.org/support/make-a-gift.
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