Donation will be honored through a naming rights agreement for the River Patio at the Museum’s new facility on the Northbank
July 31, 2023 — JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) today announced the Harden Family Foundation has donated $1 million to the MOSH Genesis capital campaign. The gift will be honored through the naming of the River Patio at the Museum’s new facility on the Northbank of Downtown Jacksonville.
The Harden Family Foundation is led by M.C. “Ceree” Harden III, an accomplished Jacksonville business leader known for his impact in both the local business community and Northeast Florida’s philanthropic sector. He led Harden and Associates Inc. as CEO for over 40 years before guiding the firm to an acquisition by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in 2020. During his career, he served in leadership roles on the boards of Baptist Health, JAXPORT, the JAX Chamber and Cornerstone (now known as JAXUSA Partnership), the Chamber’s economic development division.
The Foundation’s gift reinforces a commitment to service that has been a hallmark of Harden’s career.
“During my time on the economic development committee, we recommended locating a cultural facility within the sports and entertainment district that could support year-round activity. That was several decades ago. Finally, we are close to seeing that recommendation become a reality through MOSH’s exciting vision for the future. Together with my family, I am proud to contribute to this worthy endeavor,” said Harden.
The MOSH Genesis capital campaign supports plans for MOSH to relocate to a new building on the Northbank of the St. Johns River in Downtown Jacksonville. In May 2023, legislation for a disposition and development agreement for 2.5 acres of City-owned land at the Shipyards property commonly known as Lot X was signed into law. The legislation grants MOSH a 40-year ground lease of the land for $1 per year; design of the park and the Riverwalk; and other agreements related to the creation of a new museum and surrounding park spaces.
MOSH has operated in its current location on the Southbank of Downtown Jacksonville since 1969. The Museum’s operations have outgrown the 77,000-square-foot facility; building a new Museum will significantly expand the organization’s capacity to serve more students and visitors. Plans for the new Museum comprise approximately 100,000 square feet across three floors, with the option to build a future expansion of an additional 30,000 square feet.
“Every parent hopes their children’s generation will have better opportunities than the ones they knew. This generous contribution from the Harden family will support MOSH’s goal of inspiring the joy of lifelong learning for several generations to come,” said Maureen Mercho, Chief Development Officer of MOSH.
“Jacksonville’s strength as a city is best seen in its citizens who answer the call to serve their community. Ceree’s personal and professional contributions to Northeast Florida are commendable, and MOSH is fortunate to have the support of the entire Harden family,” said Bruce Fafard, CEO of MOSH.
About The Museum of Science & History (MOSH)
The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) is located at 1025 Museum Circle near Friendship Park. MOSH, first chartered in 1941, inspires the joy of lifelong learning by bringing to life the sciences and regional history. Admission is $19.95 for adults; $16.95 for youth, students, active and retired military and seniors. There is no admission fee for children 2 and under or Museum Members. Learn more at themosh.org.
Museum funding is provided in part by the City of Jacksonville and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Inc.; State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and the National Endowment for the Arts; Historic Museums Grants-in-Aid Program assistance provided by the Bureau of Historical Museums, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, Secretary of State.