It has become an unfortunate cliché to refer to 2009 as a “challenging year.” While everyone has felt some reverberations of the financial upsets, the nonprofit sector is one of the most exposed. But while The Museum of Flight is not alone, with careful planning and bold execution, we have continued to move into the future.
Through a combination of extraordinary talent in management, a spirit of willingness of staff and volunteers, and a generosity of the public, The Museum of Flight came through the end of 2009 a leaner organization, yet vital and forward-looking. The hard work that staff and volunteers put
into the Museum during the year maintained our already bar-setting visitor experience, and promises to continue throughout 2010 and beyond.
After a grand opening in fall 2008, the first full year of the T. Evans Wyckoff Memorial Bridge saw thousands of Museum visitors crossing safely between the east and west campuses. The bridge was created through a unique public/private partnership. Gifts from a number of generous donors, anchored by the Wyckoff family, were combined with funding from state and local agencies to create an award-winning structure. This architectural landmark is a great Museum experience unto itself.
The annual Gala for education was a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the NASA Apollo 11 mission, when man first walked on the moon. It was an incredibly moving evening, with many members of that NASA Mission Control Center in attendance, along with astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who followed astronaut Neil Armstrong down the steps of that first lunar lander.
Our Pathfinder Awards evening honored Dr. James Joki and Dr. John Roundhill, two men who advanced not only Northwest aerospace, but the world’s as well, in pursuit of answers to some of mankind’s most enduring questions.
Each of these events, like everything else The Museum of Flight does, carries the Museum toward serving the mission of the organization:
“… to acquire, preserve and exhibit historically significant air and space artifacts, which provide a foundation for scholarly research, and lifelong learning programs that inspire an interest in and
understanding of science, technology and the humanities.”
A board of trustees is tasked with establishing and maintaining vision, adhering to mission, assuring fiscal security, and meeting unquestioned ethical standards. This board is hands-on in all of these respects and more. Like the many other volunteers at the Museum, the board takes these
responsibilities on as professionals, dedicating their best work to the current programs and grand plans for the future.
This Museum had humble beginnings and has grown far beyond the original vision, largely in a response to public demand. Our emphasis on education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is helping to propel ever-growing numbers of youth into the future with
confidence. With that in mind as I enter this second year of my term as Chairman, I look forward to leading the board as we continue to serve the public, so that future generations can follow their aspirations to Dream, Discover, and Soar.
J. Kevin Callaghan
Chairman of the Board of Trustees