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Major Donor Gives $5 Million to Maritime Museum for Major Improvements

Donor Dan McKinney to be Recognized for Gift


The Maritime Museum of San Diego has received a $5 million donation from Dan McKinney, a long-time Museum supporter. The gift will fund new improvements at the Museum to make it more immersive for visitors, including a floating gateway structure that will welcome people and showcase the natural beauty of the Bayfront.

In appreciation for the major donation, County Supervisor Greg Cox will present a proclamation to Mr. McKinney’s family members proclaiming Dan McKinney Day July 15, 2015. This ceremony will take place at the Maritime Museum aboard the Berkeley Ferryboat on July 15 at 4:15 pm.

In 1942, McKinney graduated in Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley where he was a

member of the Robert Gordon Sproul Fellow Associates and a “Bear Backer.” After college, he entered into

Officer’s training in the U.S. Navy. As Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Marmora, he won Combat Ribbons.

Throughout his career, McKinney’s love of the San Diego Maritime Community drew him to the seas.

He spent many years as an ocean sailor and as a celestial navigator.

McKinney was Chairman of the Board of the Dan McKinney Companies – comprising five beer distributing companies from San Diego to Portland, Oregon. Dan has three daughters, and 6 grandchildren, is a long-time member of the San Diego Yacht Club, the La Jolla Country Club where he was a recent president, and leads local and national trade associations.

“This community has been really good to us. We just really like to help wherever we can,” he said.

Dan and Vi McKinney have made their home in San Diego since 1956. Several years ago they started a

fund to help the causes that they hold dear. The Dan and Vi McKinney Fund helped support battered women’s

services at the YWCA and youth programs at the YMCA. The McKinneys have also contributed to the

Maritime Museum, Humane Society, San Diego Hospice and other worthwhile charities. His lifetime

commitment to family, community, historical heritage, and his particular love of the Maritime Museum will

have a great impact on San Diego for many generations to come.

About the Maritime Museum of San Diego

The Maritime Museum of San Diego enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining and operating historic vessels. The Museum has one of the world’s finest collections of historic ships, including the world’s oldest active ship the Star of India. The Museum is located on the North Embarcadero in downtown San Diego at 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101. The telephone number for general inquiries is 619-234-9153. Additional information can be found on the museum’s website at


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