The National World War II Museum in New Orleans has received a gift of $20 million from Donald T. "Boysie" Bollinger, a shipping magnate and member of a prominent Louisiana family, leaders of the museum announced on Tuesday.
Bollinger has been a longtime supporter of the museum and sits on the institution's board of trustees. The museum was founded in 2000 as the D-Day Museum and in 2004 was designated by Congress as the official World War II museum of the United States.
The gift comes in the midst of the museum's effort to raise $325 million as part of a capital campaign to expand the facility. Bollinger's money is expected to be used partly to fund the "Canopy of Peace," an outdoor shade-like structure that the museum is looking to complete in two years' time.
Museum exhibitions are currently spread over three buildings on the institution's campus, with displays dedicated to the European and Pacific theaters of the war.
Bollinger is president and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards, a Louisiana company that provides marine services to military and commercial clients. He is the son of the late Donald G. Bollinger, who founded the company and was active in Louisiana state politics.
In 2010, Boeing gave $15 million to the museum, which named its U.S. Freedom Pavilion after the aviation company.