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This is a space where Foundation staff share their thoughts and musings on giving and community:

Twenty Years of the McClure Foundation

Posted by: Stuart Comstock-Gay on 5/27/2015

I spent part of my Memorial Day weekend reading grant proposals to the McClure Foundation. The proposals are tremendous—all from organizations working to broaden access to higher education, most particularly for people who don’t have easy pathways to college: single parents, veterans, first-generation students… 

And in reading the proposals, I was reminded once again about the legacy of “Mac” and Lois McClure. It was 20 years ago that Mac and Lois established the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation as the first supporting organization here at the Community Foundation. We’re fortunate to continue working with Lois and her daughter Barbara. But the legacy of the McClures is so much greater even than their foundation: 

From the Champlain Housing Trust to the Shelburne Museum to the Howard Center to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum to the King Street Center to…well, to just about every important organization you can think of. For decades, the name McClure has meant generosity of spirit and of resource—of giving to help make a great community.

Throughout history, there are people who make a difference through their giving—and who model that giving for others. In Vermont, the name McClure has to be up there with the likes of the Fairbanks—the donors to the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury. 

In our work every day, we are motivated by our belief in “better together.” It’s the same belief that was so apparent in the marriage of Mac and Lois—a partnership that blended strategy and heart, vision and generosity—the legacy of which is still evident in the McClure Foundation’s philosophy. We’ve been honored to work with them for the last twenty years, and look forward to many more.

 “We have received, we have given; and it is only in giving that we have influence beyond the span of our own lives,” Mac wrote in “Hands-On” Philanthropy.

Thanks for leading, Mac. Thanks for leading, Lois. Thanks for leading, Barbara. And Happy Anniversary!

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