Cordelia Scaife May: A Philanthropic Journey for Sustainable Coexistence

Cordelia Scaife May, a name that resonates with philanthropy and
sustainable development, has left a lasting impact on the world. Born into the
prestigious Mellon clan in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1928, May’s path to
philanthropy was not one of seeking the limelight or acquiring wealth, but
rather a deep commitment to making a difference in the world. 

May’s philanthropic journey began in 1951 with the establishment of the Laurel Foundation. Through strategic grants, she supported causes close
to her heart, including the arts, education, and female empowerment. The
National Aviary, the Allegheny Land Trust, and Planned Parenthood were just a
few of the beneficiaries of her generosity. 

Despite facing personal challenges and a reclusive life after the death of her second husband,
May’s dedication to philanthropy remained unwavering. She recognized the
interconnectedness between population dynamics and environmental
sustainability, and her philanthropic initiatives reflected this understanding. 

May championed sustainable immigration as a means to manage population growth in the United
States and reduce the strain on finite resources. She believed that responsible
immigration policies could contribute to sustainable development and mitigate
environmental degradation caused by unsustainable population expansion. 

One of May’s most passionately supported causes was the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater
Pittsburgh (WC&S). Through sustained grants, Cordelia Scaife May empowered WC&S to provide safety, healing, and empowerment to
survivors of domestic violence. Her support was instrumental in breaking cycles
of violence and creating a better future for those affected. 

In 1996, May’s philanthropic vision culminated in the establishment of the Colcom Foundation.
With her substantial endowment, the foundation became a platform for addressing
key issues related to the sustainability of resources and climate change
activism. May’s wealth and influence were strategically directed towards
creating a lasting impact on the preservation of natural resources for future

May’s philanthropy was characterized by her quiet compassion and desire for real change. She often
shunned public accolades and did things anonymously because she believed in
them. Her legacy as a philanthropist and advocate for sustainable coexistence serves
as an inspiration for us all. 

In conclusion, Cordelia Scaife May’s philanthropic journey exemplifies the power of strategic
giving and the importance of considering the interconnectedness between
population dynamics and environmental sustainability. Her dedication to causes
such as sustainable immigration and the empowerment of women has left a lasting
impact on the world. May her legacy continue to inspire future generations to
work towards a more sustainable and equitable future. Read this article for more information. 


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