A museum created to honor recipients of the highest U.S. military decoration recognizing valor in action is getting a $30 million boost from Ken Griffin, the billionaire head of hedge fund Citadel. Currently under construction in Arlington, Texas, the National Medal of Honor Museum is expected to open in 2025.
The forthcoming institution has already received funding from several high-profile donors, including investor Mark Cuban and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the latter of whom committed $20 million to the project in 2021. In addition to establishing the museum, the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation plans to build a monument in Washington, D.C., and launch global leadership programming.
In recognition of Griffin’s donation, the museum’s leadership institute will be named the National Medal of Honor Griffin Institute. Headquartered in the foundation’s Arlington museum, the state-of-the-art Griffin Institute will have a 220-seat theater, classrooms and meeting rooms designed to host educational programming focused on the legacies of valor. “The courageous recipients of the Medal of Honor have protected the promise of our nation and embodied selflessness, service and sacrifice,” said the Citadel CEO in a statement.
Griffin, who has an estimated net worth of $34.4 billion, has long been an enthusiastic supporter of patriotic causes. In 2021, he purchased a copy of the U.S. Constitution for $43.2 million at a Sotheby's auction, beating out a crypto collective that had attempted to fundraise money to display the document to the public at no cost. He also purchased a $1.5 million copy of the proposed Bill of Rights shortly after. The Constitution, which set a record for the most valuable book, manuscript, historical document or printed text sold at auction, was later loaned by Griffin to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
The billionaire also helped fund “The Constitution EXPLAINED,” a video series from civic education providers that aims to teach middle and high school students about the document. Earlier this year, he funneled donations towards the restoration of the Lincoln Memorial. He has additionally supported the Navy SEAL Foundation, a national nonprofit supporting SEALs and their families, giving the organization $10 million in 2020.
Ken Griffin’s philanthropic vision
Griffin is already a prominent philanthropist, having given gifts totaling more than $2 billion over the past three decades, but it seems he plans to become more involved in charitable endeavors moving forward. In September, he launched Griffin Catalyst, a new brand detailing his donations and highlighting the work of recipients. The initiative’s accompanying website, which describes Griffin Catalyst as aiming to “preserve and expand the American dream,” lays out the hedge fund manager’s primary interest areas of education, science and medicine, upward mobility, freedom and democracy, enterprise and innovation, and communities.
Much of his giving in recent months has focused heavily on educational institutions. In April, he made one of the largest-ever gifts to Harvard University when he gave $300 million to its Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Shortly afterward, he donated $20 million to fund a new scholarship at Miami Dade College and gave $25 million to expand New York City’s Success Academy Charter Schools, the largest operator of charter schools in the city.