Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and Princeton, New Jersey
Princeton, New Jersey
Princeton is a community located in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. It is best known as the location of Princeton University, which has been sited in the community since 1756...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, is a private foundation
Private foundation
A private foundation is a legal entity set up by an individual, a family or a group of individuals, for a purpose such as philanthropy. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the U.S. with over $38 billion in assets...

 with five core areas of interest, endowed with wealth accumulated by the late Andrew W. Mellon
Andrew W. Mellon
Andrew William Mellon was an American banker, industrialist, philanthropist, art collector and Secretary of the Treasury from March 4, 1921 until February 12, 1932.-Early life:...

 of the Mellon family
Mellon family
The Mellon family is a wealthy and influential family originally of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, and its vicinity. In addition to Mellon Bank they were principally known for their control over Gulf Oil, Alcoa, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Koppers, as well as their major influence on...

 of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the US Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Allegheny County. Regionally, it anchors the largest urban area of Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley, and nationally, it is the 22nd-largest urban area in the United States...

. It is the product of the 1969 merger of the Avalon Foundation and the Old Dominion Foundation. These foundations were set up separately by Paul Mellon
Paul Mellon
Paul Mellon KBE was an American philanthropist, thoroughbred racehorse owner/breeder. He is one of only five people ever designated an "Exemplar of Racing" by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame...

 and Ailsa Mellon-Bruce
Ailsa Mellon-Bruce
Ailsa Mellon Bruce , born in Pittsburgh, was a prominent socialite and the daughter of the banker and diplomat Andrew W. Mellon. She served from 1921 to 1932 as her father's official hostess during his tenure as United States Secretary of the Treasury, and again when he was U.S...

, the children of Andrew W. Mellon
Andrew W. Mellon
Andrew William Mellon was an American banker, industrialist, philanthropist, art collector and Secretary of the Treasury from March 4, 1921 until February 12, 1932.-Early life:...

. It is housed in the expanded former offices of the Bollingen Foundation
Bollingen Foundation
The Bollingen Foundation was an educational foundation set up along the lines of a university press in 1945. It was named for Bollingen Tower, Carl Jung's country home in Bollingen, Switzerland. Funding was provided by Paul Mellon and his wife Mary Conover Mellon...

 in New York City, another educational philanthropy supported by Paul Mellon. Don Michael Randel
Don Michael Randel
Don Michael Randel is a prominent American musicologist, the fifth president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and a member of the editorial board of Encyclopaedia Britannica...

 is the Foundation's president. His predecessors have included William G. Bowen
William G. Bowen
William G. Bowen is President Emeritus of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation where he served as President from 1988 to 2006. He was the president of Princeton University from 1972 to 1988....

, John Edward Sawyer
John Edward Sawyer
John Edward Sawyer was a prominent academic and philanthropic administrator. He was educated at Worcester Academy and then Deerfield Academy, Williams College, and Harvard University. He served as the 11th president of Williams College, and headed the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation...

 and Nathan Pusey. Randel is the former President of the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

. In 2004, the Foundation was awarded the National Medal of Arts
National Medal of Arts
The National Medal of Arts is an award and title created by the United States Congress in 1984, for the purpose of honoring artists and patrons of the arts. It is the highest honor conferred to an individual artist on behalf of the people. Honorees are selected by the National Endowment for the...


Core areas of interest

  • Higher education
    Higher education
    Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

    , including the humanities
    The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

    , libraries, and scholarly communication
    Scholarly communication
    Scholarly communication is an umbrella term used to describe the process of academics, scholars and researchers sharing and publishing their research findings so that they are available to the wider academic community and beyond....

  • Museum
    A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

    s and art conservation
  • Performing arts
    Performing arts
    The performing arts are those forms art which differ from the plastic arts insofar as the former uses the artist's own body, face, and presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal or paint which can be molded or transformed to create some physical art object...

  • Conservation
    Conservation biology
    Conservation biology is the scientific study of the nature and status of Earth's biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction...

     and the environment
  • Information technology
    Information technology
    Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

    ; specifically, software development
    Software development
    Software development is the development of a software product...

    in support of the Foundation's areas of interest

Research group

Mellon has a small research group that has investigated doctoral education, collegiate admissions, independent research libraries, charitable nonprofits, scholarly communications, and other issues in order to ensure that the foundation's grants would be well-informed and more effective. Some of the recent publications of this effect include Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education, Reclaiming the Game: College Sports and Educational Values, JSTOR: A History, The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values, and The Shape of the River.

Mellon's endowment has fluctuated in the range of $5–6 billion dollars in recent years, and its annual grantmaking has been on the order of $300 million.

External links