The Children's Museum of Memphis and its Board of Trustees honored John and Katherine Dobbs by naming the museum's campus "The Katherine and John Dobbs Family Center" on January 13, 2012. The Dobbs gave the museum a very special gift over the 2011 holiday season, expanding their partnership with a 10-year commitment for capital improvements and new exhibit projects. The decade-long partnership was unanimously approved by the museum's Executive Committee on December 7 and was announced to the public on December 18. It is the museum's largest single gift ever.
"The Board wanted to thank the Dobbs in a very special way," said William Widdop, president. "Their generosity to the children and commitment to our community goes above and beyond, and placing their name on the physical building that houses the museum is the highest honor we have to give."
"We wanted to honor John and Katherine in a lasting way," said Richard C. Hackett, chief executive officer. "They have already supported the museum in so many ways with their annual Cirque sponsorship and membership. They are wonderful people with big hearts, and they share our vision of taking the museum and transforming it into one of the best children's museums in the United States. Everyone is so excited - and we are all honored and humbled by their generosity and love of children."
"Katherine and I wanted to make a real difference in this community," said John Dobbs. "We love children, and it is going to be a real adventure seeing the transformation at the museum over the next 10 years. We are grateful and humbled by the naming of the building in our honor."
"The Children's Museum holds a very special place in our hearts," said Katherine Dobbs. "It is a wonderful place for parents to have happy memories with their children. Having our name permanently associated with the museum makes us so proud and challenges us to help make it the best it can be."
"We are so excited to give the museum's campus a real name," said Hackett. "Up until now we have called it the Old National Guard Armory Building. The building's history will never change, but now there's a new chapter beginning and a new era of families will be coming to The Children's Museum at The Katherine and John Dobbs Family Center."