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July 25, 2005

Endowment growth, institutional initiatives, record gifts highlighted in CW's 2004 Annual Report

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation improved its balance sheet, moved forward with a range of educational initiatives and major renovations, and set a record in individual gifts last year, according to the just-released 2004 annual report, published as a special issue of Colonial Williamsburg, the journal of the Foundation.

The Foundation’s net assets increased in 2004 by $52 million to $850 million, due primarily to appreciation in the market value of Colonial Williamsburg’s endowment, which ended the year at $689 million, a $54 million increase over 2003. Total debt declined $3.7 million for the year. Final paid ticket sales in 2004 were just over 707,000, down three percent from 2003. Total admissions, including complimentary tickets, ended 2004 at 729,000, a five percent decline from the 2003 figure of 768,000.

At the same time, the Foundation’s interactive technology and educational outreach programs showed dramatic growth. More than 9.3 million people visited the Foundation’s five websites to explore history and conduct research, a 12 percent increase over 2003. The award-winning Electronic Field Trips (EFTs) – interactive history lessons televised to classrooms nationally and internationally – attracted record participation. Three entirely new programs were part of the 2004 slate, and the EFTs overall reached about 200 new schools from Hawaii, Alaska and Florida all the way to Italy.

“We continue to focus on strengthening our finances, upgrading our physical assets and creating new experiences through both on-site and interactive offerings,” said Foundation President and Chairman Colin G. Campbell. “We’re equipping Colonial Williamsburg for success in the 21st Century, while at the same time preserving and enhancing the integrity of our historic charter.”

Campbell noted that Colonial Williamsburg operated at a $29 million deficit in 2004, compared to $25.7 million in 2003. This result was due in part to renovation work at the Williamsburg Lodge (which reduced the number of available rooms and required closing the conference facilities while the work proceeded), the undertaking of other capital projects, lower budgeted endowment support, and continuing pressure on operating revenues.

“We’re reaching more people than ever, considering traffic on our websites and our Electronic Field Trips, along with visitors to the Historic Area,” Campbell said. “However, this is a time of transition, as it is for museums and historic sites nationwide. We recognize the need to improve annual operating results through innovative programs and strengthened visitation and occupancy, and we’re taking significant steps to achieve these objectives.”

Activities in 2004 included:

  • Participation by more than 1,000 teachers in the Colonial Williamsburg teacher development programs, which include the Foundation’s Teacher Institute for Early American History.
  • Preliminary planning of a new Education for Citizenship curriculum, with interactive historic dramas, to be launched in 2006.
  • Dedication of the College Corner Building in Merchants Square.
  • Beginning the relocation of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum to a larger, more accessible venue at the DeWitt Wallace Museum site.
  • Entering the final phase of re-creating Peyton Randolph’s “urban plantation” within the Historic Area, a project begun in the 1960s.
  • Renovation of the Williamsburg Lodge into a state-of-the-art conference center and guest lodgings, to be completed in late 2006. And,
  • Creation of a new, integrated national advertising campaign, positioning Colonial Williamsburg for younger and more diverse audiences.

    Particularly encouraging in 2004 was increased support from donors. The Foundation received gifts in 2004 totaling approximately $40 million, slightly above the $39 million in gifts, grants and pledges in 2003. For the third straight year the number of individual supporters topped the 100,000 mark. The number of new donors, 28,000, set a record in 2004, with contributors from all 50 states.

    At year end, the Campaign for Colonial Williamsburg, the Foundation’s comprehensive multi-year fund-raising effort, stood at $398 million, 79 percent of its goal. As of July 15, the Campaign had reached just over $438 million, 88 percent of its goal.

    “Our fundraising success demonstrates nationwide support of Colonial Williamsburg and the importance of our central mission: to preserve the setting, present the story, and communicate the modern relevance of a pivotal time and place in our nation’s founding,” said Campbell. “We’re confident as we tackle the challenges of revenue generation that Americans will recognize the significance of Colonial Williamsburg and its universal message.”

    Last year also featured Colonial Williamsburg’s partnering with national textbook publisher Scott Foresman to create 17 textbook presentations and related multi-media material on early American history for grades 1-6. Colonial Williamsburg also became a Founding Colony Sponsor of the Jamestown 2007 commemoration, the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown as the first permanent English settlement in North America.

    Colonial Williamsburg welcomed two new trustees to its board in 2004, Amos B. Hostetter Jr. and John O. Wynne.

    Hostetter currently serves as chief executive officer of Pilot House Associated, a family investment office. From 1999 to 2003, he was non-executive chairman of AT&T Broadband and Internet Services (BIS) and served on the AT&T board. Prior to that, Hostetter was chairman and chief executive officer of Boston-based MediaOne Inc., which eventually was merged into AT&T BIS. Wynne is the retired president and chief executive officer of Norfolk, Virginia-based Landmark Communications Inc., which has interests in newspapers, broadcasting, cable programming and electronic publishing. Among other ventures, Wynne was responsible for development of The Weather Channel in 1981.

    Linda Dalch Jones joined The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 2004 as vice president for development and is focused in the near term on the conclusion of the Campaign for Colonial Williamsburg. Previously, Dalch was vice president of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Engineering Foundation. Beatrix T. Rumford retired as Colonial Williamsburg’s vice president of special projects in 2004, more than 35 years after she joined the Foundation as assistant curator of collections.

    Media Contact:
    Tim Andrews
    (757) 220-7265



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