AEG Issues National Challenge for Endeavour Donations

Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth Studio

Less than a week before the Oct. 30 opening of the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Pavilion at the California Science Center (CSC) a major conglomerate of entertainment venues, AEG Corporation, has issued a challenge to national and local businesses, philanthropic organizations, civic leaders and individual donors to contribute to the fundraising campaign launched in 2011 to bring Endeavour to the CSC.

AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company. Anschutz owns, controls or is affiliated with a collection of companies including more than 100 of the world’s preeminent firms.

Endeavour starts the street move from LAX over to the CSC.
Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth Studio

The world-renowned science learning institution, located in South Los Angeles, has launched a $200 million campaign to prepare Endeavour for exhibition, transport it to Los Angeles and the CSC and create the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center as well as sustain ongoing educational programs and operations.

Mrs Samuel Oschin holding a photo of her late husband.
Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth Studio

The leadership support of the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation, a $15 million challenge from The Ahmanson and Weingart Foundations, along with commitments at or exceeding $1 million from AEG, Time Warner Cable and Toyota among others that places the campaign at approximately halfway toward its goal.

“The reality is that without the private sector stepping up to contribute both financially and in other ways, there is no way that Endeavour, a true national treasure, could come to Los Angeles and the California Science Center,” said AEG’s Tim Leiweke.  “The Science Center prevailed in securing this national treasure for our community. Now it is the responsibility of local organizations to invest in our City, invest in our children, invest in important institutions and be accountable for bringing these opportunities to our community.  The true payoff for all of our investment is the educational opportunities Endeavour will create and the economic impact these programs will bring to so many sectors in our City.”

“The Science Center is committed to not charging general admission, making quality learning experiences available to all, said Jeffrey Rudolph, President of the California Science Center.  “This is an investment in the educational infrastructure of our community.”

Endeavour will go on display in a temporary fabricated metal structure building (see image below), until the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, the main component of an approximately 150,000 square foot expansion is completed. Under current fundraising estimates this could take as long as five years to complete.  This major addition to the Science Center’s existing programs, the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, featuring Endeavour, is viewed as being part of a layered holistic and coordinated effort to bring science to the community.

Endeavour being closed into her temporary home.
Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth Studio




  1. If only Detroit had a similar benefactor. Our Detroit Science Center has been closed and chained for over a year. This is particularly sad in that Detroit was once a focal point of science, technology, engineering and math. During World War II Detroit factories churned out tanks, jeeps, trucks, etc., etc. The first freeway in America was built in Detroit to facilitate the transport of bomber parts to Willow Run airport for final assembly. Ann Arbor businessman and Chair of Finance for the Republican National Committee, Ron Weiser, purchased the Detroit Science Center for less than the five million dollars it owed to prevent bankruptcy liquidators from turning it into scrap. He would like to re-open it as the Michigan Science Center if the funding to keep it open (considerably less than 200 million dollars) can be raised. The Science Center is a marvelous place for young people, and in a desperate city where broken-down EMS vehicles are stacked up like firewood, where once thriving neighborhoods are now acres of burned-out abandoned houses that even the crack-heads won’t go in, where there are massive layoffs in the police and fire departments prompting the police to hand out flyers which say “enter Detroit at your own risk”, and the former mayor and company on on trial in federal court on corruption and conspiracy charges, a thorough education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is the only way, the only hope, that the children of Detroit will know more than the travails of teen pregnancy or the feel of a 9mm bullet between the shoulder blades during a botched liquor store hold-up. The Science Center was THE source to inspire and educate, to show young people that with a good education it WAS possible to have an exciting, productive, meaningful future. It was so much more than just a building filled with buzzing, blinking, exhibits. I was fortunate to have gone to our National Air and Space Museum and I LOVED it! On my demise I wanted to be cremated and have my ashes scattered throughout the museum, but I thought better of it when I realized I would probably end up spending he rest of eternity in a government issue vacuum cleaner bag. I hope to someday see Endeavour in its new Oschin Pavilion, it sounds great! Best wishes for every success in the fund-raising “endeavor”. 🙂

  2. I wish this article was a bit longer with even more pics included….it was a BIG, SPLASHY EVENT for both the shuttle AND L.A. There are the most WONDROUS people-shots which SHOULD be seen!! The interaction of “MAN AND MACHINE” in those mean streets gave a whole new meaning to that over-used expression….”AWESOME…!!!”

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