Nucor Steel and Nucor Charitable Foundation Donate a Total of $1M to the Emanuel Nine Memorial

The Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board, which manages the fundraising, construction, endowment and outreach for the Emanuel Nine Memorial, announced today that Nucor Steel Berkeley County in Huger, S.C., along with the Nucor Charitable Foundation based in Charlotte, N.C., each donated $500,000 to the Emanuel Nine Memorial, for a total donation of $1 million.

This news represents the fifth $1 million donation received since the memorial was first announced in 2019. Now under construction on-site at the Mother Emanuel AME Church, the memorial is expected to open in the spring of 2025.

“The Emanuel Nine Memorial will serve as a place of healing and resilience, and it is because of generous donations like Nucor’s that the memorial is able to come to life,” says John Darby, co-chair of the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation. “Over the past five years, we have seen an outpouring of financial support from businesses in our own backyard and across the U.S. that share our vision for honoring the victims and fostering unity in our community.”

Plans for the memorial began shortly after the 2015 tragedy as community leaders reached out to the Mother Emanuel AME Church to form a partnership to honor the memory of the Emanuel Nine. Together, a mission statement was shaped, a designer was selected and meetings with survivors and victims’ families informed the creation of design principles for what would become the Emanuel Nine Memorial. Once fundraising began, the memorial’s design plans commenced.

Designed by Michael Arad, the architect behind the National September 11 Memorial in New York, the memorial consists of two phases. Phase I is located adjacent to the Mother Emanuel AME Church and will feature a courtyard with two fellowship benches facing each other with high backs that arc up and around like sheltering wings. At the center of the courtyard, the curves of the benches will encircle a marble fountain where the names of the Emanuel Nine will be carved around the fountain’s edge. Water will emanate from a cross-shaped source, filling the basin and gently spilling over the names of the nine lives lost. The opening between the benches toward the back of the courtyard will reveal a cross above a simple altar, providing visitors a quiet place to linger in thought and prayer.

Phase II of the memorial will include a survivors’ garden, which will be accessed by a pathway from the courtyard. Dedicated to life and resiliency, the garden will be surrounded by six stone benches and five trees, symbolizing the five survivors – the sixth signifying the church is also a survivor.

“Nucor is deeply committed to creating a sense of community and belonging. It is an honor to contribute to the Emanuel Nine Memorial Foundation in support of initiatives that promote unity, healing, and remembrance,” said Mike Lee, Vice President and General Manager of Nucor Steel Berkeley County.

With a fundraising goal of $25 million to design, build, maintain and protect the Emanuel Nine Memorial, as well as fund educational outreach and social justice initiatives, the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation relies on individual and corporate contributions that can be made online by visiting: