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$20 million gift to Museum from philanthropist Roger Ogden
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$20 million gift to Museum from philanthropist Roger Ogden

The Greater New Orleans Foundation and Ogden Museum of Southern Art have announced an estimated $20 million gift from real estate developer, civic leader and philanthropist Mr. Roger H. Ogden to establish the Ogden Fund.

The endowment is intended to ensure an annual charitable gift to the museum in perpetuity while the fund grows over time in the foundation’s investment portfolio.

“We deeply appreciate Roger’s vision and generosity in making New Orleans the leading city for Southern art in our nation, and for his commitment to ensuring that Ogden Museum of Southern Art has the resources it needs for generations to come,” said Andy Kopplin, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

“By endowing the Ogden Fund at the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Roger’s commitment to the Museum will ensure it remains financially strong for the future. We are honored to be his partner in managing the Ogden Fund.”

“I am excited to partner with the Greater New Orleans Foundation to help execute my vision for Ogden Museum of Southern Art in its 20th year,” said Ogden. “As a Greater New Orleans Foundation board member, we at the foundation bring many people together to invest in groups, places and people in our region. With this gift, we are working to solidify our impact long after we’re gone so that the museum will remain here showing visitors the evolution of arts in the American South.”

Roger Ogden has been a leader in the development and acquisition of more than $2 billion in commercial real estate, including shopping centers, hotels, office properties and public pro bono projects. As co-founder of Stirling Properties, for 20 years he led the company as principal and CEO in the development and acquisition of a $200 million portfolio of shopping centers. On the New Orleans Aviation Board, he has helped lead the development of a new $1 billion terminal, which opened in the fall of 2019.

Ogden donated more than 1,000 works from his personal collection to found Ogden Museum of Southern Art, which opened in 2003. Located in the Warehouse Arts District, the museum a comprehensive public collection of Southern Art. Additionally, it hosts original exhibitions, public events and educational programs. The museum’s collection has grown to include nearly 5,000 works donated from individuals and collectors from across the United States.

“As Ogden Museum of Southern Art celebrates 20 years, Roger’s gift is a true mark on the life cycle of an incredible institution as the largest bequest in the Museum’s history,” William Pittman Andrews, The Helis Foundation executive director, Ogden Museum of Southern Art. “We are thankful for Roger’s vision in support of our unique, educational mission to celebrate the excellence and diversity of Southern art.”

Roger H. Ogden of New Orleans, Louisiana, is an alumnus of LSU, where he served as student body president and graduated with honors and second in his class from the College of Business. He received his juris doctorate degree from Tulane Law, where he was elected to the Tulane Law Review and was an Order of the Coif graduate.

Ogden is a real estate developer, civic leader, and philanthropist. He has been a leader in the development and acquisition of more than $2 billion in commercial real estate including shopping centers, hotels, and office properties, and public pro bono projects. Ogden is co-founder of Stirling Properties where for 20 years he led the company as principal and CEO in the development and acquisition of a portfolio of 35 shopping centers.

In 1996, Ogden developed the Omni Riverfront Hotel, a project that pioneered development on Convention Center Boulevard. In 2000, Ogden acquired and redeveloped the Shops at Canal Place, a 260,000 square foot five-star mall in downtown New Orleans featuring Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany, Brooks Brothers, and Anthropologie. He developed the Loews Hotel and restoration of Piazza d’Italia in 2003. Ogden is a principal in the acquisition and redevelopment of the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel in the French Quarter following Hurricane Katrina.

Ogden has been extraordinarily active in civic endeavors, including as chairman of the LSU Board of Supervisors, chairman of the Audubon Park Commission, and chairman of the boards of many other public and non-profit organizations, including co-Chairman of the LSU/Tulane Cancer Consortium Board and 2018-19 chairman of the United Way Campaign. In connection with his civic work, he has donated his time and talents as the coordinating developer of the New Orleans Aquarium of the Americas and Woldenberg Park, a world-renowned riverfront park that reconnected the Vieux Carre to the river, and the restoration of the historic Louisiana Supreme Court building, located in the heart of the Vieux Carre. He chaired the design and construction committee for the development of the new business school complex at LSU and currently serves on the board of the LSU Foundation and executive committee of the Flagship Coalition. He endowed the LSU Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College (named after his father and son).

Ogden’s experience and passion for economic development dovetails with his service as the Founding Chairman of the SoLa Super Region Committee (a collaboration between GNO Inc. and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber). Most recently on the New Orleans Aviation Board, he has helped lead the development of a new $1 billion world-class terminal to be opened in the fall of 2019. Additionally, Ogden is a member of the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region and is recognized as one of New Orleans leading entrepreneurs in “How They did It … Profiles of New Orleans Entrepreneurs,” published in 2009. He is an emeritus member of the GNO Inc. Board of Directors and currently serves on the statewide Committee of 100.

Committed to the arts, Ogden founded the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in 2003. The project has led to a renaissance of this historically important area of the city and is nationally recognized as the largest and most comprehensive collection of Southern art in the world. He has served on the boards of the New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana State Museum, Contemporary Art Center, NOCCA, and the LSU Museum of Art.  He currently chairs the art committee of the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion Foundation and has served on the board of directors of the Foundation for Excellence in Louisiana Public Broadcasting.

Ogden has received numerous professional, business, and civic awards, which include Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association for Corporate Growth in 2019, Times-Picayune Loving Cup, Louisiana Legend by Louisiana Public Broadcasting in 2015, New Orleanian of the Year by Gambit Magazine, Metropolitan Area Committee’s Special Achievement Award for Metro New Orleans, LSU Alumni Hall of Distinction, Junior Achievement NOLA Business Hall of Fame, New Orleans Ten Outstanding Persons by Family Services, LSU Business School Hall of Distinction, Anti-Defamation League’s A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award for Humanitarian Service, named one of the 30 Driving Forces in New Orleans by City Business, Greater New Orleans Philanthropist of the Year in 2009, the National Urban League Empowerment Award, and most recently he has been chosen the recipient of United Way’s Tocqueville Award 2019. Ogden has been a resident of New Orleans for 50 years.

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