Major Gift Announced

Euterpe, Star of India - Maritime Museum of San Diego

Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation Awards Maritime Museum Of San Diego Generous Gift To Anchor Organization In Time Of Crisis

SAN DIEGO, CA — Maritime Museum of San Diego, serving as the community memory of our seafaring experience by collecting, preserving, and presenting our rich maritime heritage and historic connections with the Pacific world, announced today receipt of a generous $100,000 donation from The Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation. The Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation has proven again their leadership in community support for coming to the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s aid. The Foundation has a long history of supporting the Maritime Museum, contributing to the building of the galleon replica San Salvador, and recent historic landmark vessel restoration and preservation projects including the 1898 steam ferryboat Berkeley, and 1863 Star of India.

According to Raymond Ashley, Ph.D., K.C.I., President/CEO of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, “We are honored that we have been afforded such support. The shelter in place orders issued by state governance as a response to the global pandemic forced Maritime Museum of San Diego to temporarily close for three and one-half months beginning March 16, 2020. This mandatory closure removed virtually every form of operational revenue the Museum once depended on, imparting to our entire institution an existential challenge. Maritime Museum of San Diego depends on combined revenues from general admission for daily tours, award-winning living history educational programming, public events, membership, sailing and bay tour adventures, charter and private events, group self-guided and docent led tours. This crisis has been partially met through the generosity of donors.”

Dr. Ashley adds, “Although we recently opened our doors July 1, the reported spiking COVID-19 infection rates forced us to close again July 7 for an indeterminate period, continuing the existential challenge unabated.”

Maritime Museum of San Diego contributes to the local community by offering special outdoor oceanic learning curriculum, maintains the city’s iconic landmark ship Star of India, the oldest active sailing ship in the world, and preserves a unique fleet of historic vessels and exhibits moored along the waterfront, and shared with tourists, regional families, school and youth groups. The Museum also stages widely popular community festivals in partnership with Port of San Diego. For the first time in its 70+ years, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is navigating through a period of tremendous uncertainty, trying to maintain the sanctity of the Museum’s treasures, and ensure preparedness to welcome guests again when permitted to reopen in accordance with governmental guidance.

Helming Maritime Museum of San Diego as President/CEO since 1995, Dr. Ashley reports, “Going forward such generous expressions of support and endorsement of our value to the community as embodied by The Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation grant, combined with numerous other donations on the part of individuals and institutions, will still be the determining factor in the sustainability of our ships and our institution. We will be eternally grateful for these contributions as we set our sights on sustaining operations and work toward a return to welcome visitors, educators, students, and maritime history enthusiasts for years to come.”

Located at Star of India Wharf, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is a collection of historic vessels moored together dockside along the north embarcadero between Grape and Ash Streets at 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101-3309. Tickets available here.

About the Maritime Museum of San Diego
The Maritime Museum of San Diego experience includes admission to a world-class collection of historic sailing ships, steam-powered boats, and submarines, each offering entertaining and educational exhibits. The 501c3 non-profit Museum enjoys an international reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining, and operating historic vessels including the world’s oldest active sailing ship, Star of India. Maritime Museum of San Diego is ranked as one of the nation’s top attractions offering self-guided tours, docent guided-group tours, tall ship charters, year round public events, educational programs, and a distinctive venue for corporate/private events. The Museum is open daily along Star of India Wharf at 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101-3309.