Mark Updegrove ’80, the new CEO of The National Medal of Honor Foundation, is partnering with five former US presidents to build a new National Medal of Honor Museum. The planned three-building complex is set to grace the banks of Charleston Harbor in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.
The project has received the backing of all living former United States Commanders-in-Chief-Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter. All have signed on to the board of the foundation as honorary directors.
Mark personally met with four out of the five presidents to explain the vision for the new museum. He received Obama’s support through his office. The National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation is an educational institution formed to build and maintain a new museum and education center to be built with funds procured from the private sector.
The proposed museum building will be star-shaped, elevated on pylons, and built of glass and concrete, according to the National Medal of Honor Museum website. Designs on the website include three different buildings in the complex. One will house a two hundred and forty-seat auditorium, museum shop and grass-topped land pavilion, the other will be the museum building and include the Hall of Valor and the third building will be a one-hundred-forty seat chapel with views of the sea. The future site will be adjacent to the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point, where the Medal of Honor Museum is currently located.
Mark is featured in a video on the National Medal of Honor Museum website discussing the importance of telling the stories of those military persons who have earned the highest and most prestigious military decoration that can be awarded to recognize US military service.
“Medal of Honor recipients in most cases are ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” said Mark. “This is a reflection of our country. This is a reflection of the best of who we are.”