The National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri, is pleased to announce it has received a $656,000 bequest from Californian and former Westminster College trustee, Ronald J. Kostich. These funds will be added to the Museum’s endowment and support educational outreach programs.
International Churchill Society board member and Westminster College President Dr. Fletcher Lamkin stated, “We are thankful for the generosity of Ron Kostich, an alumnus from the class of 1963, who has made this lasting contribution in support of the National Churchill Museum at Westminster College. This gift will be instrumental in supporting the Museum’s outreach efforts, which continue to expand throughout the United States.”
Kostich’s legacy gift underscores his belief in the leadership and legacy of Winston Churchill and the excellent reputation for which the Museum is revered and renowned. “The gift continues the increasing and generous support we’ve seen for the Museum,” added Timothy Riley, the Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout Director and Chief Curator. “It will permit us to sustain and strengthen our education and exhibition programs beyond Fulton.”
During his time as an undergraduate in Fulton, Kostich witnessed the construction of the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library now known as the National Churchill Museum of the United States. That effort included the relocation from London to Fulton of more than 7,000 stones that make up the largest work in the Museum’s collection—the Church of St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, Sir Christopher Wren’s seventeenth-century parish church that was all but destroyed by the German Luftwaffe in 1940. It remained in ruins until the 1960s when, with Winston Churchill’s endorsement, Westminster College rebuilt the church on its campus to honor the great statesman’s “Iron Curtain” speech and to serve as a monument to the special relationship between the United States and Great Britain.
Kositch enjoyed a distinguished thirty-six-year career with Abbot Laboratories in Chicago before retiring to his native California to start a rental property business in 2001. Throughout his life, Ronald Kostich remained connected to his beloved alma mater becoming a member of the Board of Trustees and serving with pride on the National Churchill Museum committee.
The bequest for the Museum is part of a larger, $3.88 million gift that also includes support for student scholarships and Greek life at Westminster College.