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The Smithsonian announced a $12 million commitment from Bonnie and Jere Broh-Kahn to support education programs across the Institution. The Broh-Kahns of Bethesda, Maryland, are longtime friends and supporters of the Smithsonian, contributing to multiple museums beginning with their first gift in 1992.
The couple’s recent gift of $2 million will name the Broh-Kahn Weil Director of Education at the National Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum. An $8 million bequest will endow the positions.
The Broh-Kahns have also committed $2 million through a bequest to establish endowments at the National Museum of the American Indian and National Museum of American History to support their education programs.
“The Broh-Kahns’ generous gifts to education enable us to advance one of our most fundamental and important missions—to help audiences of all walks of life understand the world and their place in it,” said Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch. “The Smithsonian at its core is an educational institution, one that should be responsive and accessible to all.”
Naming and endowing the director of education at the Natural History and Air and Space museums will allow the Smithsonian to hire leaders in museum education who will use the Institution’s extensive collections and scholars to implement programs about the history of the planet, its people and the universe.
“Education at the Smithsonian is so important,” Jere Broh-Kahn said. “It goes back to the founder, James Smithson, and his gift to establish the Smithsonian for the ‘increase and diffusion of knowledge.’ We want knowledge to be diffused to the younger generation. They face climate change and other challenges and need the right knowledge to make the right decisions in their lives.”
Jere Broh-Kahn was a diplomat with the State Department, serving as the chief of the State Department Indochinese refugee program. He and Bonnie Broh-Kahn met in Bangkok, where they were both posted.
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