The Dallas Morning News | Perot Museum fund drive closes in on $185 million goal

By October 2, 2011In The News

Eagle-eyed Forrest Hoglund, chairman of the Perot Museum of Nature & Science expansion campaign, can see the finish line of the $185 million project from here. The campaign stands at $170 million.

His vision is enhanced by two new $1 million challenge grants from Dallas-based Highland Capital Management LP and Atmos Energy Corp. that will extend matching gift opportunities for the Perot Museum.

The museum is scheduled to open in early 2013 on a 4.7-acre site at 1155 Broom St., at the northwest corner of Woodall Rodgers Freeway and Field Street in Victory Park. The structure will stand approximately 170 feet tall.

The campaign is providing funding for site acquisition, exhibition planning and design, construction of the building, education programs and an endowment.

“These wonderful gifts from Highland Capital Management and Atmos Energy bring us that much closer to finishing out our $185 million campaign to build the Perot Museum,” Hoglund said.

“This is another big boost for science education, and we encourage everyone to take advantage of the extended matching opportunities available for gifts of all sizes from now through Dec. 31.”

For their generosity, the two Dallas-based businesses will be recognized as co-sponsors of Dinner in the Wild 2011 and will receive other donor benefits, including naming opportunities, at the new museum

“Dallas is our home; it’s where we raise our families and educate our children. We at Highland Capital Management are delighted to play a small role in bringing world-class science, math and technology education to our region,” said James Dondero, president of Highland Capital. “The Perot Museum is going to be an amazing asset for our city.”

“With Atmos Energy being a technology-based company, we understand the great need to present science in a compelling, exciting and even entertaining manner,” said Kim R. Cocklin, president and CEO of Atmos Energy. “We see this museum as a powerful vehicle that will inspire young people to pursue science careers and also inform and educate everyone about the important role science plays in our lives.”

Event co-chairs Christie and Frank Scardino promise that this year’s Dinner in the Wild, set for Nov. 17 atFair Park’s Automobile Building, will be the “biggest and the best in museum history.”

The theme for this year’s party is Night at the Museum, which will provide guests a sneak peek at the future and showcase the Perot Museum’s 11 exhibit halls. Christie Scardino reports that the event is sold out, with a crowd of 1,600 expected.

Margot and Ross Perot are the honorary chairs of Dinner in the Wild, and Anne and Ross Helbing andCaroline and Glenn Gehan are the underwriting co-chairs. The auction chair is Lauren Glazer.

The Perot Museum of Nature & Science was designed by 2005 Pritzker Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his California-based firm, Morphosis.

To donate online and learn more about the benefits of giving, visit natureandscience.org or call 972-201-0555.

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