November 29, 2022
Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore Launches $18 Million Fundraising Campaign
CLAREMORE, Okla. — A new campaign dedicated to expanding and renovating the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore was announced in November during the Will Rogers Days festivities.
The fundraising effort called Together We Will was launched to create new visitor experiences and interest in the life of Will Rogers and the Claremore museum that is dedicated to his memory. The money will go toward an ambitious $18 million expansion and renovation, which will feature a new entrance, three-story event center, vault with modern preservation standards and improved ADA accessibility.
The museum received $7 million of a $46 million bond issue set aside for the Oklahoma Historical Society by the state legislature to address needs at 23 sites. The goal is to raise the remaining $11 million before the centennial of Route 66 in 2026.
Will Rogers Memorial Foundation President Bill Baird, former Governor Frank Keating and former President pro tempore of the Oklahoma Senate Stratton Taylor launched the fundraising effort. They serve as campaign co-chairs with former NASA Director Jim Bridenstine and former OHS Executive Director Dr. Bob Blackburn. Barry Corbin, an Academy Award-winning actor, serves as honorary chair with Jennifer Rogers Etcheverry, Will Rogers’ great-granddaughter; the Honorable Robert Henry, former Attorney General and Will Rogers scholar; and former Governor George Nigh.
The Will Rogers Memorial Museum is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.
Editor’s Note: Photos of the Will Rogers Memorial Museum are available upon request.