The purpose of this Foundation is set out in Article 4 of its Articles of Incorporation dated June 26, 1970. Its commitments to the estate of the late Richard B. Russell, Jr., are set out in a conveyance of his documents from his estate dated May 8, 1973, under which the Foundation transferred possession and custody of the documents to the University of Georgia.
Consistent with the duties and responsibilities of the Foundation as set out in the foregoing documents, the following is the Mission statement of the Foundation:
Promote the legacy of the late Richard Brevard Russell, Jr. and his contributions to the welfare of our state and nation, particularly in the areas of public service, national defense, education and agriculture.
See that the documents of the late Richard B. Russell, Jr. and his family are collected, preserved, and made available for research consistent with sound archival standards.
Support and monitor the Richard B. Russell, Jr. Library for Political Research and Studies at the University of Georgia, as well as the University of Georgia, in carrying out the purposes of this Foundation.
Promote and support scholarship, including the funding of scholarships, fellowships and professorships, consistent with the purposes of this Foundation.
Encourage service to God and humanity, to community, state and nation among all citizens of the United States of America.
Adopted October 21, 2009
The Richard B. Russell Foundation, Inc. is a private, non-profit corporation that provides financial support for the collection and preservation of research and educational materials documenting modern Georgia’s political and public policy history as well as financial support to students and teachers at the University of Georgia and beyond.
The Russell Foundation was established in 1970 by Georgia business leaders, statesmen, and friends of United States Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr. to perpetuate the senator's memory, preserve his records, and support activities exemplifying his ideals. Although the Foundation was organized prior to the senator’s death, Senator Russell insisted that no money be raised while he was in the Senate. He also insisted that women and African Americans be appointed to the Foundation’s board of trustees, and Senator Russell was closely involved in choosing the initial board of trustees, which included Jesse Hill, an African-American business leader, civil rights advocate, and president of Atlanta Life Insurance Company. Louise Richardson Allen, wife of former Atlanta mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. and Mary Gregory Jewett, director of the Georgia Historical Commission, also sat on the original board.
After Senator Russell’s death in January 1971, Senator Herman Talmadge spearheaded a fundraising campaign that raised $1.5 million with the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation contributing the largest single donation. These funds were wisely invested and grew over time. The Foundation now supports an annual budget of approximately $200,000. Since its inception, the Russell Foundation has contributed over $8 million to fund scholarships, fellowships, and other educational and leadership programs. Ongoing contributions provide annual support for the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, awards for scholastic achievement and promise, and a variety of programs that help prepare Georgia’s future leaders.
Today, the Russell Foundation honors Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr.’s fifty-year legacy of public service through its many programs and initiatives at UGA and beyond.
“Richard B. Russell will always be remembered as a champion of Georgia and of Georgia’s interests, but his guiding star was his integrity as a public servant. He understood the simple and powerful truth that the best way to serve your state is to do the best job you can in serving your nation.”
- Sam Nunn, United States Senator from Georgia, 1972-1997.