The National Coast Guard Museum Association announced today that Arnold Palmer, Charlie Gibson, J.D. Power III, and John Amos have joined the Association as honorary chairs. This world-renowned team of American business acumen, award-winning journalism and star-power will work with the Association’s executive committee and board members to establish the country’s first-ever National Coast Guard Museum in New London, Connecticut to honor the commitment, accomplishments and sacrifices of US Coast Guard men and women.
"I deeply appreciate the National Coast Guard Museum Association's continued efforts and leadership to establish a National Coast Guard Museum in New London," said Admiral Bob Papp, Commandant of the Coast Guard. "The fact that the Association is bringing onboard distinguished luminaries who have served in the Coast Guard or have a special connection to the Coast Guard is a testament to the Association's commitment to make the museum a world class venue."
In April 2013, the National Coast Guard Museum Association, United States Coast Guard, State of Connecticut and City of New London announced the proposed location and designs for the much-anticipated National Coast Guard Museum intended to be built in the New London Waterfront District adjacent to the city's train station and ferry terminals. Plans include a four-story, 54,300-square-foot building with four floors of interactive exhibits, event space and lecture rooms, as well as a reception area with gift shop and café. In addition, plans anticipate docking the Coast Guard's tall ship, Barque EAGLE, at an adjacent pier serving as an additional attraction. A pedestrian overpass across the railroad tracks will connect the museum with the local ferry terminal and train station helping to usher visitors worldwide as they come to experience this first national museum dedicated to the U.S. Coast Guard's history.
“We are thrilled to have this illustrious group of former Coast Guard servicemen and renowned personalities aboard to help our efforts to build the nation’s first National Coast Guard Museum,” said James “Jimmy” Coleman, Jr, President of the Board of Directors, National Coast Guard Museum Association. “We look forward to working with them as we endeavor to celebrate and memorilize the men and women of the nation’s first life-saving service.”
Legendary professional golfer Arnold Palmer was the first golfer to win the Masters Tournament four times and is generally regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of men’s professional golf, winning 92 tournaments during his career. He enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in 1950 as a Yeoman and continued to serve until 1953.
As a former anchor and journalist with ABC News, Charlie Gibson served in the United States Coast Guard in 1966. He went on to become anchor of Good Morning America and ABC World News Tonight.
Few have influenced the automotive industry over the past 50 years more than James David Power III. A pioneer in customer satisfaction work, he founded J.D. Power and Associates and built it into a global brand. Power served as a commissioned officer on a Coast Guard icebreaker in the Arctic and Antarctica from 1953-1957, after which he earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Business before joining Ford Motor Company.
John Amos, best known for his popular character role of James Evans in the hit CBS sitcom Good Times, received an Emmy nomination for his role in the epic 1977 mini-series “Roots,”based on the novel written by legendary author and Coast Guardsman Alex Haley, whose namesake, USCG Cutter Alex Haley is known as “The Bulldog of the Bering" and is the largest medium endurance cutter in the Coast Guard's fleet. Amos, who was first employed as an advertising copywriter, a social worker, and semi-professional football player, is a veteran of the 50th Armored Division of the New Jersey National Guard and Honorary Master Chief of of the United State Coast Guard and Navy.
“Respect the past, engage the present and look to the future” - the new National Coast Guard Museum will be a fitting tribute to the men and women of the service – those currently serving, those wanting to serve, and all those who have served over the past 224 years. It will be a place where visitors will be enlightened and amazed by tales of the Coast Guard’s rich history of bravery, devotion and patriotism. Americans and tourists from all over the world will visit the museum and be inspired by a legacy of service and honor.
The National Coast Guard Museum Association is currently in the midst of a national fundraising campaign called the “Barque EAGLE Society.” Through minimum donations of $1,000, $5,000 or a three year commitment of $15,000, donors become members of the museum’s exclusive “Barque EAGLE Society” and will receive a unique limited edition portrait of the United States Coast Guard Barque EAGLE created on canvas by famed Coast Guard artist Tony Falcone of Prospect, Connecticut.
For more information or to make a donation, anyone interested may contact the National Coast Guard Museum Association at 860.443.4200 or visit www.coastguardmuseum.org.
The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the United States Coast Guard history and tradition.