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John Templeton Foundation Awards $1.36 Million to Benjamin Franklin 300 Celebration
January 19, 2005
John Templeton Foundation joins the Pew Charitable Trust, Lenfest Foundation, and Commonwealth of PA as second largest donor.

West Conshohocken, PA January 19… The John Templeton Foundation has awarded the Ben Franklin Tercentenary a grant of $1.36 million in support of Franklin’s 300th birthday (1706-2006). A multi-year celebration will feature an interactive traveling exhibit, a series of events and programs, and commemorative activities throughout the nation and the world.

The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary’s planned celebration of Franklin’s life is linked closely with the aims of the John Templeton Foundation, which supports rigorous scientific research through worldwide initiatives focused on character development, spiritual principles and free market principles.

“There are numerous character values such as thrift, curiosity, civic generosity, honesty, and loyalty that are optimized in the life of Benjamin Franklin,” said Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr., president of the John Templeton Foundation. “These core values are in line with the Foundation’s mission of character development and the impact and benefit of spiritual and religious convictions.”

The John Templeton Foundation grant is the second largest contribution to the Tercentenary, following a $4 million grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts. The Templeton Foundation joins the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Annenberg, Barra, Florence Gould, and Lenfest Foundations, the McLean Contributionship, and others on the list of donors.

“This generous grant from the Templeton Foundation has closed our Tercentenary fundraising gap, and we are thrilled to have them as a partner in this celebration,” said Rosalind Remer, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Tercentenary Commission.

The international traveling exhibition, Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World, will open in Philadelphia on December 15, 2005 at the National Constitution Center, and travel to four US cities before going on to Paris, France.

The John Templeton Foundation was established in 1987 by renowned international investor, Sir John Templeton, to encourage a fresh appreciation of the critical importance — for all peoples and cultures — of the moral and spiritual dimensions of life. Using "the humble approach," the Foundation typically seeks to focus the methods and resources of scientific inquiry on topical areas which have spiritual and theological significance ranging across the disciplines from cosmology to healthcare. The Foundation supports programs, competitions, publications, and studies that promote character education and the exploration of positive values and purpose across the lifespan. It supports free enterprise education and development internationally through the Templeton Freedom Awards, new curriculum offerings, and other programs that encourage free-market principles. In 2004, with approximately $800,000 million in assets, the Foundation committed more than $60 million in grant funding worldwide.

The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary is an alliance created in 2000 by five Philadelphia institutions: the American Philosophical Society, The Franklin Institute Science Museum, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the University of Pennsylvania. Its purpose is to celebrate the 300-year anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s birth (1706-2006), and its projects have been endorsed as the official national celebration by the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Commission, a federal advisory body. Dr. Rosalind Remer is Executive Director of both agencies.