Viewing page 135 of 156

– 123 –

VOTED that the Board of Regents endorses the recommended guidelines for its consideration of proposals to name Smithsonian facilities in recognition of significant corporate support, with the understanding that corporate names will not be affixed to Smithsonian facilities unless this provision is explicitly waived by the Board.

* * * * *

Introductory Summary

To date, the Regents have faced no formal proposal to name a facility in honor of a corporate donor. However, the opportunity to name the Insect Zoo at the National Museum Of Natural History in recognition of a corporate contribution of two-thirds of the total cost of renovation suggests the need for policy guidelines.

• The Institution has long accepted individual naming of permanent facilities and corporate sponsorship of temporary programs. In a time of mounting costs and shrinking resources, new expensive initiatives may require larger-scale corporate fund-raising. Is there a perceived Smithsonian endorsement of commercial self-interest rather than of philanthropic purpose in any permanent association with corporate identity?

• A survey of similar organizations suggests that virtually none preclude corporate naming (with the exception of the National Park Service, which precludes all donor naming) but that few face the issue because the size of corporate gifts rarely merits named recognition. Universities tend to be most amenable, Federal institutions least.

• After consideration of arguments pro and con, it is recommended that the Smithsonian not adopt a policy of absolute refusal of corporate naming but at the same time exercise the strongest caution in considering such a proposal.

• Every effort should be made to urge the use of the name of an individual important to the corporation, to establish a time limit on the use of the name, to require over fifty percent of the costs of major projects and two-thirds of those less than $2 million, to assess the compatibility of the corporate name and reputation with Smithsonian goals and the particular purpose of the project, and to consider the insertion of a "good name clause" to allow future revocation of a corporate name.

The Regents are urged to consider the recommendations which appear in the text below and the suggested motion, which reads as follows:

VOTED that the Board of Regents endorses the recommended guidelines for its consideration of proposals to name Smithsonian facilities in recognition of significant corporate support.
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.