The James M. Cox Foundation announced a $1.5 million donation Monday to the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum in San Diego.

The museum, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, will use its largest single grant in its history to expand educational programs. About 50,000 students annually take part in the museum’s programs in the classroom or online, according to Cox.

“This historic partnership is vital to the future of the USS Midway Museum,” museum President and CEO Mac McLaughlin said. “As our Midway Foundation works to meet the long-term educational and infrastructure needs of the USS Midway Museum, community leaders like Cox are crucial to achieving that mission.”

The donation was provided by the James M. Cox Foundation, which is named for the founder of Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Communications.

Cox Enterprises Chairman Jim Kennedy said his mother, Barbara, christened the aircraft carrier in 1945.

“The Midway and Cox became forever linked when my mother christened the ship almost 70 years ago,”  Kennedy said. “The Midway served with America’s greatest generation and is now educating future generations. Before founding our company, my grandfather was a teacher, so I know he’d be proud that this grant will help the Midway grow its educational programs.”

Cox Communications provides broadband service for the ship and is airing a half-hour program on the museum on its local station, Channel 4 San Diego.

In addition to Cox Communications, Cox Enterprises operates, Kelley Blue Book, Manheim, Cox Reps, KICU-TV, KTVU-TV and

–City News Service

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