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2015 Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards Gala

May 19th, 2015

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY-ELLIS ISLAND FOUNDATION, INC. HONORS DIANE VON FURSTENBERG, PATTI LUPONE, AND HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. AT “GALA IN THE GREAT HALL”

ELLIS ISLAND IMMIGRATION MUSEUM OFFICIALLY RENAMED ELLIS ISLAND NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IMMIGRATION

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. tonight honored Diane von Furstenberg, Patti LuPone, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at its “Gala in the Great Hall” held at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. Ms. von Furstenberg received the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award, and Ms. LuPone and Mr. Gates received the Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards. More than 400 guests attended the event which was hosted by Meredith Vieira. Norm Lewis provided the evening’s entertainment.

At the ceremony, Stephen Briganti, President and CEO of The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., announced, “Ellis Island has long been a symbol of American immigration. Now with the full story of those who arrived from the Native Americans right up to the present being told, the museum is renamed the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.” The museum previously was known as the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

The evening began with a citizenship swearing-in ceremony where ten people representing Australia, Ecuador, Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, Israel, Russia, and the United Kingdom became citizens of the United States. Shaun Donovan, Director of the Office of Management and Budget for the Obama Administration, welcomed the new Americans.

The “Gala in the Great Hall” celebrated the opening of the Peopling of America Center at Ellis Island, new major exhibitions that chronicle immigration to America before the processing station at Ellis Island opened in 1892 and after it closed in 1954. With the completion of the post-Ellis Island era exhibition, the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration is the country’s official museum chronicling all immigration from the colonial era to today. More on the Peopling of America Center can be found at www.LibertyEllisFoundation.org.

About The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to raise funds for and oversee the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, working in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior. In addition to restoring the monuments, the Foundation created museums on both islands, The American Immigrant Wall of Honor®, the American Family Immigration History Center®, and its newest project, The Peopling of America Center® which has transformed the museum into the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. The Foundation’s endowment has funded over 200 projects at the islands.

CONTACT:

Iva Benson (212) 843-8271 / ibenson@rubenstein.com

Brady Littlefield (212) 843-9220 / blittlefield@rubenstein.com

Peg Zitko (212) 561-4517 / pzitko@ellisisland.org

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