Chipping away at the final $2 million for the International African American Museum in Charleston, a big insurance company has added $100,000 to the pot.
The grant from New York Life will help support the Family Life Center, where guests will be able to trace their ancestry, according to an announcement Thursday.
"As a company committed to supporting the African American community and celebrating its culture and history, New York Life is honored to help the IAAM establish an international research and educational hub," Heather Nesle, vice president of corporate responsibility, said in a written statement. "It’s important that we continue to help individuals and families understand the role their ancestors played in the story of our country and their own heritage."
Construction on the waterfront museum near the city's Maritime Center is set to start later this year, with an opening in 2020. It will be built on the site of Gadsden's Wharf, where thousands of enslaved Africans were unloaded from ships in the early 1800s.
Michael Boulware Moore, CEO of the museum, said the latest private donor "has long been an avid supporter of the African American community both financially and through its commitment to a diverse workforce."
New York Life Insurance Co. is a Fortune 100 company that was founded in 1845 and is considered the largest mutual life insurance firms in the United States and one of the biggest in the world. It has an office on Meeting Street in downtown Charleston.
The cost of the museum is estimated at $75 million. Private gifts are expected to cover a third of the construction costs. The rest of the funding will come from state and local governments.