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April 10, 2007

Lanes endow Director of Coach and Livestock position

Colonial Williamsburg’s Director of Coach and Livestock position has been endowed through a $1 million gift from Ambassador Bill Lane and his wife Jean of Portola Valley, Calif. Richard Nicoll, internationally known in the field of horse carriage driving and carriage competition course design, is director of the Foundation’s coach and livestock program. Endowed gifts provide financial resources to support key positions and programs throughout the Foundation.

“Over the years, Bill and Jean Lane have been wonderfully generous to Colonial Williamsburg,” said Colonial Williamsburg President Colin G. Campbell. “We are delighted that the Lanes’ latest gift is in support of one of the Foundation’s finest and most significant programs.”

“Animals bring the Historic Area to life for our guests and particularly for young people,” said Ken Wolfe, Colonial Williamsburg’s director of planned giving programs. “It’s gratifying that Bill and Jean are helping to ensure this memorable part of any Colonial Williamsburg visit.”

The coach and livestock program plays a central role in Historic Area interpretative programs, adding horse-drawn carriages and domestic animals to the Historic Area landscape. The program began in 1937 and now includes more than 100 animals, including Leicester Longwool sheep, American Cream Draft and Canadian horses, Milking Red Devon and Shorthorn cattle, as well as several 18th-century poultry breeds. The coach and livestock program has become a leader in efforts to preserve rare breeds and works closely with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

Lane has devoted much of his life to public service and conservation. He served as U.S. ambassador to Australia and Nauru from 1985 to 1989 and ambassador-at-large in Japan from 1975 to 1976. He was the first chairman of the UNESCO “Conference on the Environment” in San Francisco in 1969. He is a former owner and member of the board of Lane Publishing Co. in Menlo Park, Calif., which publishes Sunset magazine as well as books and films. In 1990, Ambassador Lane and his brother Melvin sold the Sunset enterprises to Time Warner.

Bill and Jean Lane have been generous to the Foundation. In 1992 they provided for the renovation of the Bruton Heights School Educational Center auditorium, which bears their name. They also established a charitable remainder trust in 2001.

Lane served on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees from 1972 to 1989. He then served on the Hotel Properties Board of Directors from 1989 to 1992. The Lanes were charter members of the Raleigh Tavern Society and now are lifetime members.

The Lanes have a particular interest in the Rare Breeds program and how the program impacts young people and previously made a gift toward construction of the stable in the Historic Area.

The Lanes are major benefactors to Stanford University, Northwestern University, KQED, a Public Broadcasting Station in San Francisco, public parks at every level of government and many other charitable causes.

Nicoll has been working with carriages since 1970. From the 1970s through the 1980s, Richard competed with pairs and singles. In 1976 he began designing and building courses for the sport of combined driving; in the late 1970s he began officiating as a technical delegate and judge. In the early 1980s, he became a course designer and technical delegate for the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI). He has designed courses–including three world championship courses–in several countries, including England, Austria, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Ireland, Sweden and the United States. Nicoll currently is chairman of the FEI Carriage Driving Committee.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121