The Meadows Foundation Celebrates 75th Anniversary, Marking $1.36B in Total Grants

Founded in Dallas in 1948 by Al and Virginia Meadows, the foundation has supported programs across Texas, leaving a lasting legacy in all 254 counties. The foundation has provided $1.36 billion through more than 10,000 grants to 3,700 different organizations and groups throughout the state.

The Meadows Foundation is celebrating its 75th anniversary on Friday as one of North Texas’ leading private family philanthropic organizations.

Peter M. Miller

Committed to improving the quality of life for Texans, the foundation was founded in Dallas in 1948 by Al and Virginia Meadows. It has supported programs across Texas, leaving a lasting legacy in all 254 counties. The foundation has provided $1.36 billion through more than 10,000 grants to 3,700 different organizations and groups throughout Texas.

“As we commemorate our anniversary, we honor the people of Texas, whom Al and Virginia loved for their compassionate spirit and generous hearts,” Peter M. Miller, president and CEO of The Meadows Foundation, said in a statement. “Together, we’ve continued our founders’ mission to look out for one another with kindness and understanding and paint a brighter future for all Texans.”

It has made a lasting impact by funding programs that span arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, environment, health, and human services.

The impact of the Meadows Foundation

Here are some facts provided by the foundation:

  • One of the largest private, statewide funders in Texas
  • Grants range from $15 to $45,000,000
  • Program areas are arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, environment, health, and human services with initiatives in postsecondary completion, educator preparation, water conservation, depression, and homelessness.
  • First grantees include the American Cancer Society (Dallas Chapter), Hope
    Cottage (Dallas), Southwest Museum of Science & Technology (Dallas), Southwestern Diabetic Foundation (Gainesville, Texas), and the University of Texas at Dallas – Callier Center.
  • A nearly $500,000 grant to the Texas Council on Family Violence in 1996 helped establish the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
  • Established The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute as an independent nonprofit organization, which provides independent, data-driven, nonpartisan guidance for policy and program changes so all Texans can receive mental health care when and where they need it.
  • Provided early funding to Texas A&M University Kingsville for its work with a new experimental orchard that forever changed the grapefruit/citrus industry.
  • Helped establish The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University in 2012 to focus on finding real-world solutions to water issues impacting the entire state.
  • Funded the establishment of The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas at Austin to support educators with data-driven, practical knowledge and tools to improve outcomes for all students.

Revitalizing historic neighborhood

The foundation created a nonprofit neighborhood near downtown Dallas in 1981 when it acquired a neglected historic neighborhood, including the Wilson House and other Victorian homes. The initiative preserved the last remaining Victorian homes in the city and helped revitalize the area.

The Wilson Historic District has provided free office space to more than 160 nonprofit agencies, helping them develop financial stability and collaborate with other neighborhood agencies. It is recognized as a historic landmark by the city and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the foundation said.

“I have had many opportunities to personally witness the positive difference The Meadows Foundation has made,” former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Strauss said in a statement. “I applaud their transformative work and their ongoing efforts to elevate countless lives and communities, leaving an enduring legacy of progress and hope.”

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