Multipurpose Education Facilities Part of New Museum and Visitor Center
DEARBORN, Mich., Sept.26, 2008 – The Ford Motor Company Fund Education Center at Gettysburg was officially opened today as part of the grand opening of the new Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park. The Education Center was made possible by a $3 million grant from Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company.
Marty Mulloy, vice president Labor Affairs, Ford Motor Company, joined Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, Governor Ed Rendell, actor Stephen Lang, National Park Service officials, Gettysburg Foundation supporters, and other corporate sponsors for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park.
"At Ford, we understand the value of preserving our American heritage, and we believe it is vitally important to share the historical impact of Gettysburg with generations to come," said Mulloy.
Close to two million people visit Gettysburg National Military Park each year and an additional 12 million students have logged on for a virtual visit to Gettysburg through its distance–learning programs. The new Education Center includes indoor and outdoor educational program spaces and complements the Park's education programs.
"The Ford Motor Company Fund Education Center will be at the heart of the new Gettysburg museum and visitor center's education programs, providing a dedicated space for teacher workshops, classroom use and distance learning programs," said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "Ultimately it will serve as a gateway to the Gettysburg experience."
Gettysburg provides hands–on resources for teachers to bring the battlefields of Gettysburg to life both while visiting the park in Pennsylvania or studying the Civil War in their classrooms and helping students understand the realities of the Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg is viewed as the watershed for the Civil War and the battlefield is where Abraham Lincoln made his famous Gettysburg Address in recognition of the impact of the Civil War on the direction of the United States.
"The Gettysburg Foundation is enormously grateful for this gift, which will help ensure that the lessons Gettysburg teaches reach the widest possible audience," Foundation President Robert C. Wilburn said. "The Gettysburg battlefield is one of the greatest classrooms in the nation. The lessons of Gettysburg – of sacrifice, visionary leadership and reconciliation – have educational value that resonates around the world. Through the generosity of Ford Motor Company Fund, we have the opportunity to make Gettysburg a classroom of democracy."
The Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park preserves and presents the story of the Battle of Gettysburg in the larger context of causes and consequences of the American Civil War. The new Gettysburg experience inspires visitors to learn more about the battle's significance in American history, and to draw connections between the events that occurred there and what is happening in their lives today. It is a joint project between the National Park Service and the Gettysburg Foundation.
Ford Motor Company Fund has a history of supporting education programs and projects that keep American heritage alive, such as the Ford Motor Company Fund Education Center in Gettysburg. Additionally, the Ford Orientation Center at the historic Mount Vernon Estate of George Washington recognizes his role in the Revolutionary War and the founding of this country.
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is committed to creating opportunities that promote corporate citizenship, philanthropy, volunteerism and cultural diversity for those who live in the communities where Ford operates. Established in 1949 and made possible by funding from Ford Motor Company, Ford Motor Company Fund supports initiatives and institution that foster innovative education, auto–related safety, and American heritage and legacy. National programs include Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, which provides high school students with academically rigorous 21st century learning experiences, and Driving Skills for Life, a teen–focused auto safety driving initiative. The Ford Volunteer Corps, established in 2005, continues Ford's legacy of caring worldwide. Through the Volunteer Corps, Ford employees and retirees participate in a wide range of volunteer projects in their communities. For more information and programs made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, visit www.community.ford.com.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 229,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.