Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation

Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation

The foundation aims to preserve and honor a pair of essential American landmarks — the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island — while providing educational and community-building programs that connect visitors to America's rich immigrant history.

Protecting America's Historic Treasures

Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation was created in 1982 when President Ronald Reagan asked Chrysler Corporation chairman Lee Iacocca to lead a private-sector campaign to raise money for the restoration and preservation of both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. American citizens responded by donating hundreds of millions of dollars to repair and remodel the monuments ahead of their centennials. To this day, all funding for the foundation's projects comes from the public, not the government.

With the help of its public partner, the National Park Service, the foundation restored the Statue of Liberty — a late-19th-century gift from France to commemorate its friendly relationship with the United States — in time for a four-day unveiling celebration in July 1986. Opened to the public in 1990, Ellis Island (the country's largest immigration station in the late 20th century and early 21st century) underwent a restoration project that included the addition of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. (It was later expanded and renamed the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration).

The Foundation also raised $100 million for the construction of the 26,000-square-foot Statue of Liberty Museum, which opened in 2019. This building doubles the original museum's capacity, better accommodating the 4 million-plus visitors who pass through Liberty Island each year for a closer examination of the symbol of hope around the world.

The Annenberg Foundation has supported Lady Liberty through a series of grants that began in 2003 and help Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and the National Park Service safeguard this national treasure. In 2016, Annenberg Foundation vice president/director and GRoW founder Gregory Annenberg Weingarten received the Ellis Island Foundation's Family Heritage Award for his preservation efforts over the years. "I know that America's openness, its boundless hope and possibility, is a fire that lights up the whole world — from the most oppressed and war-torn countries to the most progressive and advanced ones," said Gregory. "They look to us for our ideals, and those ideals are embodied by Ellis Island."

GRoW Support


General Operating Support


General Operating Support




Capital Support - The People of America Center at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum 


Operations - Renovations and re-opening of the Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation