THE PAST AND FUTURE OF FOUNDATIONS
David Hammack - Hiram C. Haydn Professor of History at Case Western Reserve University
Friday September 4, 2009
Crawford Hall - Room 9
Case Western Reserve University
Some of their names are deeply ingrained in American culture and history. Ford. Rockefeller. Carnegie. These are not just captains of industry and great fortunes: they are also institutions, the famous foundations that have often shaped politics and society beyond or beside the standard political processes. The Carnegie Foundation’s role in building the modern medical education system, and the Ford Foundation’s support for “public interest” litigation, are just two of the best known ways in which the foundation sector has shaped American society.
It is easy to find arguments that foundations have used wealth to tilt American politics in one direction or another. From the left foundations may be viewed, for example, as promoting elitist policies. From the right, Ford and Rockefeller in particular were blasted in the 1970s as promoting political activism that would have had their founders spinning in their graves. But the journalist John Judis, in his fine book The Paradox of American Democracy, argued that elite institutions like the great foundations played an important balancing role in American politics, moderating capitalism’s ills while preserving the basic system.
Foundations as an institutional form, however, are older than Rockefeller and Carnegie. They have been important in the United States since before the Civil War. In the 19th Century they provided critical support for the creation of the “mainstream” Protestant denomination and of Jewish institutions. By the 1870s, the more ambitious colleges and universities had evolved into prototype foundations.
Whatever one’s view, the foundation sector is a major aspect of American public affairs. Yet political science texts say virtually nothing about it. Fortunately for us, we have on campus not only our Mandel Center on Nonprofit Organizations, but one of the leading scholars of the nonprofit sector in general and the foundation sector in particular. David C. Hammack, the Hiram C. Haydn Professor of History, is a past President of the Association for Research on Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations. He also has edited a book, currently being copy-edited for the Brookings Institution, on The Contributions of Foundations. Our Friday Lunch announcements sometimes say that there are few if any people in the country more qualified to talk about our topic than our speaker, when the speaker is from our own faculty. That’s very clearly true for our discussion on September 4. Please join us to discuss one of the most important, and least understood, aspects of American politics and policy.
Our Friday lunch schedule has recently been revised. Please see the revised schedule below. As usual, we will gather in Room 9 of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, on the lower level of Crawford Hall, for free cookies, beverages, and brown bag lunch.
About Our Guest
David C. Hammack is Haydn Professor of History and a member of the Faculty Council of the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Case Western Reserve University. His books include Globalization, Philanthropy, and Civil Society: Projecting Institutional Logics Abroad, edited with Steven Heydemann; Power and Society: Greater New York at the Turn of the Century; Social Science in the Making: Essays on the Russell Sage Foundation, 1907-1972, with Stanton Wheeler; and Making the Nonprofit Sector in the United States: A Reader. American Foundations: Studies on Roles and Contributions, which he edited with Helmut Anheier and will be published in 2010. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Visiting Fellow at the Yale Program on Non-Profit Organizations and winner of Case Western Reserve University’s Diekhoff Award for Distinguished Graduate Teaching. After graduating from Harvard in 1963, he taught high school for four years in Portland, Oregon, and Newton, Mass., earned a PhD in History at Columbia University in 1973, and taught history for half a dozen years at Princeton.
Professor Hammack is co-editor of the Philanthropic and Nonprofit Studies book series of Indiana University Press and is past president of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, an international association of 1200 researchers. His community service includes serving as president of Community Shares of Greater Cleveland and advising the Foundation Center, the Jewish Community Federation, the Sight Center, the Western Reserve Historical Society, and David Shimotakahara’s GroundWorks dance company. He and his wife Loraine served as chief consultants to “The Struggle for Integration in Shaker Heights,” a documentary project on the Cleveland suburb, broadcast nationally on PBS.
REVISED Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:
September 11: The Roberts Court: Past and Prologue? With Jonathan Entin, Professor of Law and Political Science; and Ken Ledford, Associate Professor of History and Law
September 18: The Constitution and Human Rights. With Peter H. Irons, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, UC San Diego.
September 25: Where is Germany Heading? The September 27 Elections. With Mark Cassell, Associate Professor of Political Science, Kent State University
October 2: Burning River Reborn? The State of the Cuyahoga. With Michael Scott, The Cleveland Plain Dealer
October 9: ***Special Location - Clark Hall Room 206, the Baker-Nord Center Seminar Room*** Bush, Barack, and the Meltdown. With Kathryn C. Lavelle, Ellen and Dixon Long Associate Professor of World Affairs. Room to be determined
October 16: Virtue, Vice, and Contraband: The History of Contraception in America. With James M. Edmonson, Curator, Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum
October 23: Reforming Cuyahoga County Government. Speakers TBA
October 30: The University’s “Internationalization” Initiative. With David Fleshler, Associate Provost for International Affairs
November 6: Unhealthy Claims About “Healthy” Foods. With Hope Barkoukis, Associate Professor of Nutrition
November 13: What Should the Common Reading for New Students Do? With Mano Singham, Director, University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education
November 20: Chesapeake Bay and the Need for Dark Green Environmentalism. With Howard R. Ernst, Associate Professor of Political Science, U.S. Naval Academy
November 27: Thanksgiving Break
December 4: What the Health Care Reform Legislation Will Do, or Why Health Care Reform Failed, or Health Care Reform: What Next? or All of the Above. With Joe White, Professor of Political Science
The Friday Lunch discussions are held on the lower (ground) level of Crawford Hall. Visitors with mobility issues may find it easiest to take advantage of special arrangements we have made. On most Fridays, a few parking spaces in the V.I.P. lot in between Crawford Hall and Amasa Stone Chapel are held for participants in the lunch discussion.
Visitors then can avoid walking up the hill to the first floor of Crawford by entering the building on the ground level, through the garage area under the building. The further door on the left in that garage will be left unlocked during the period before the Friday lunch. On occasion, parking will be unavailable because of other university events.
For more information about these and other Center for Policy Studies programs, please see http://policy.case.edu.