Patricia and Phillip Frost have given an additional $10 million to the new science museum in downtown Miami that bears their names, bringing their total contribution to $45 million.
The latest gift is earmarked for the museum’s recently completed planetarium, which marks the mid-point in construction of the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. The museum, in downtown Miami adjacent to the Pérez Art Museum Miami, is expected to open in summer of 2016.
Gillian Thomas, president and CEO of the museum, said Friday that the planetarium’s virtual journeys will extend beyond the traditional explorations of outer space.
“We can present the immersive experience of going out into space, down into the ocean and into the human body,” she said.
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The museum also will use the 250-seat facility to teach students to produce multimedia presentations. The dome will be equipped with 16-million-color projection system that can display images both within the interior of the dome and outside it.
The Frosts’ latest gift brings museum fundraising to about $100 million — $35 million from its capital campaign goal of $135 million.
Trish and Dan Bell, co-chairs of the museum’s Board of Trustees, thanked the Frosts for their ongoing support.
“We are extremely grateful for their continued support, allowing the museum to be a center for learning and innovation for everyone to explore the impact of science and technology on our lives,” they said in a release.
Philip Frost, a medical entrepreneur, and wife Patricia, a retired educator, are among Miami’s most generous donors, contributing $33 million in 2004 to the Patricia and Phillip Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and $3 million in 2006 to the art museum at Florida International University that bears their name. They also sponsor a scholarship program for graduates from universities in Florida and Israel to study at Oxford University in England.