The largest single gift ever to the museum will endow its directorship, which is currently held by Brent Benjamin. At her final board meeting as president in December, Taylor announced the gift, so the funds have not been budgeted, although Benjamin said he believes they will enable the museum to save almost $1 million this year and redirect those funds toward other projects such as expanding its online presence.
Barbara and Andy Taylor and Andy's father, Jack, who founded Enterprise Rent-A-Car, have a long history of supporting SLAM and other St. Louis nonprofits. Last year, the Taylors awarded more than $100 million to local organizations, including $92.5 million to thirteen nonprofits and another $22 million to local education- and youth-focused groups.
The Taylors' latest gift to the museum will enable it to spend more on operations and seek a top-level — and potentially high-salaried — director. "It means the museum can compete in the national and international markets for talent," said Benjamin. "It really makes it possible for the museum to have the person it wants to have in this position."