David H. Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries, has made his mark on National Museum of Natural History by donating $35 million to the Washington, D.C.-based museum.
The major gift, which was announced by the Smithsonian Institute last Thursday, will be used to build a new dinosaur hall, according to a report in The Washington Post. It is the largest single donation the museum has ever received, and the fifth largest in Smithsonian history.
Koch, who might be best known for his support of conservative causes, has been a member of the museum's advisory board for the past 15 years. He told The Post that he made the donation because he believes the institution's current dinosaur hall is "obsolete." Many of the specimens included in the current dinosaur exhibit have been there since the museum first opened 100 years ago.
This is certainly not Koch's first experience with philanthropy related to dinosaur exhibits. He donated $20 million to the dinosaur hall in New York City's American Museum of Natural History in 2006. He also gave $100 million to the renovation project for the State Theater of New York at Lincoln Center.
The National Museum of Natural History's current dinosaur exhibit will close in 2014, with the renovated hall scheduled for completion in 2019. The total cost of the work is estimated at $45 million.
You can read more about this story in The Washington Post.