The Rockefeller Archive Center
“If we assist the highest forms of education – in whatever field – we secure the widest influence in enlarging the boundaries of human knowledge.”
—John D. Rockefeller, Sr.



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Size: 60 cu. ft.

Contents: The Charles E. Culpeper Foundation archives present a complete account of the foundation's activities in the years following the death of Charles E. Culpeper, during which the foundation devised and established its philanthropic mandate. The collection includes the Fiftieth Anniversary Report 1940-1990, a general overview of the foundation's involvement in the areas of health, education, arts and culture, and administration of justice, with a breakdown of funds provided for each field.

Arrangement: Records are arranged in two accessions.

Accession 1 is arranged in four series:

    1. Administration, 1979-1988
    2. Grants, 1940-1983
    3. Historical Files, 1886-1991
    4. Miscellaneous

Series 1, Administration, covers the meetings of the Investment Committee, the Grant Committee, and the Board of Directors from 1981-1988. It contains correspondence, waivers, motions, financial statements, and disbursements. Organizational files from 1940-1988, detailing the birth of the foundation and efforts to establish its programs, as well as personal material from James T. Murray, chairman of the foundation from 1958 to 1968, are also included in this series.

Series 2, Grants, contains lists of grants, financial statements, grant applications, and general correspondence documenting the administration of grants. Files are arranged alphabetically.

Series 3, Historical Files, contains Culpeper family material, including correspondence, photographs, audio tapes, trust and estate records, documents relating to family property in Georgia, and items relating to the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York established by Charles E. Culpeper.

Accession 2 is arranged in six series:

    A. Minutes Books and Corporate Documents, 1939-1999
    1. Administration, 1942, 1977, 1980-1998
    2. Annual Reports, 1940-1999
    3. Grants, 1964, 1969-2001
    4. Historical Files, 1875-1995
    5. Photographs, 1991-1992, 1996

Series A comprises five reels of microfilm documenting minutes of the corporation; these reels were filmed separately from Accession 2 materials.

Series 1, Administration, is arranged in nine subseries:

    1. Board of Directors
    2. Board of Trustees
    3. Compensation Committee
    4. Finance Committee
    5. Grants Committee
    6. Grants Committee and Board of Directors
    7. Grants Committee and Board of Trustees
    8. Investment Committee
    9. Scientific Advisory Committee

Series 2, Annual Reports, includes reports documenting Foundation activities which were published in five-year increments from 1975-1990. In 1993, a Biennial Report was produced covering the years 1991-1992. After this time, the Trustees determined that the Foundation should produce a report annually. The annual publication of reports continued from 1993 until 1998. The publication of a final 'Retrospective' covered the time span from the inception of the Foundation's operations in 1940 to the terminus of the Foundation's activities as an independent philanthropy in 1999.

Series 3, Grants, illustrates The Charles E. Culpeper Foundations grant programs in several broad categories which include the Administration of Justice, Arts and Culture, Education, and Health Care. The grant files in Series 3 are arranged in 7 subseries by program area:

    1. Administration of Justice Grants
    2. Arts and Culture Grants
    3. Discretionary Grants
    4. Education Grants
    5. General Grants
    6. Grant Lists
    7. Health and Medical Program Grants

Series 4, Historical Files, consists of correspondence, personal business records, and ephemera concerns Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Sperl, the widow of Charles E. Culpeper, and her extended family members and friends.

Series 5, Photographs, includes images taken on-site at academic, cultural, and environmental institutions which received grant awards from the Culpeper Foundation are included in this series, as well as portraits of Board members and Foundation employees. Photographs of the corporate office in Stamford, Connecticut, including interior furnishings and decorative arts, are also included. Color photographs of principals, Board members, and administrative staff are included.

Photograph Collection: No

Organizational History: Charles Emory Culpeper (1874-1940) was born in Rome, Georgia to a farm family of nine children. Although he never finished high school, he was an industrious young man who worked as a store clerk in the Rome area and later as a traveling salesman. In 1899, Culpeper accepted a job selling Coca-Cola syrup to soda fountains in Philadelphia. In 1904, he was transferred to New York, where he worked as a salesman for the Coca-Cola Bottling Works of Newark and of New York. In 1917, Culpeper bought the two companies for $160,000 and combined them into the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York. The company prospered under his direction, and at the time of his death in 1940, his stock in it comprised the bulk of his substantial fortune.

Culpeper was highly involved in the welfare of children. Throughout his lifetime, he was instrumental in assisting boys' clubs in the New York area. In his will, Culpeper directed that a foundation be established to acquire the bulk of his fortune and conserve it for the benefit of future generations. On December 18, 1940, the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation was established.

By the late 1980s, the Foundation focused its awards in medical science to three areas within the health care system: research, medical education and clinical services. In 1990, Culpeper Foundation assets totaled approximately $118 million and reported disbursements of $6 million in grants that year. In 1999, the Culpeper Foundation merged with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.  A significant portion of grants awarded by the Foundation were made during the period 1977-1992.  The program also extended to concern for the impact of advances in medical technology and the evolving field managed care in a changing health care environment, and its effect upon individualized patient care. In 1992, the recognition to support new information technologies extended program development at secondary schools, offering technical training support to school faculty specifically in order to development foreign language curricula.

From 1993 onward, grants were issued in four broad categories: administration of justice; arts and culture; education, and health.  At the college level, the Foundation continued to support computer literacy programs since the 1980s and now recognized the need to apply technologies in the humanities and social sciences as well.  In 1999, the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation closed its offices in Stamford, Connecticut and the remaining Foundation operations were transferred to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in New York City.  The Brothers Fund has continued to administer remaining grant contracts and has also awarded additional grants under the auspices of the agreement arranged.  By the end of the year 2007, all grants scheduled will have been satisfied; the Medical Scholars program continues as of this writing.

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