MOUNT VERNON, VA—The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association announced today that it has exceeded an ambitious $100 million capital campaign goal, raising more than $106 million in just over three years to support its latest major initiative, The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.
The Library marks the realization of an aspiration put forth by General Washington himself; in a 1797 letter to a friend, James McHenry, he expressed a desire to someday build a library in which to house his books and papers. Washington did not live to see that dream become a reality, but thanks to an outpouring of support from patriotic citizens, foundations, and corporations, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association will open a magnificent new building to serve that very purpose—and a much broader one—on September 27, 2013. Located on a fifteen-acre site just outside the main entrance to the Mount Vernon estate, the 45,000-square-foot Library will safeguard original Washington books and manuscripts. It will also serve as a center for new and ongoing scholarly research, educational outreach, and leadership training inspired by Washington’s example.
“This new Library will help us to maintain and advance George Washington’s timeless relevance in our fast-changing world,” said Ann Bookout, the Regent, or chair, of the Association, which owns and operates the Mount Vernon estate. “We are grateful to the thousands of supporters who answered our appeal, and who share our belief that Washington’s example of strong character and effective leadership remains more important than ever.”