George McCully

Hartwick Welcomes McCully for Philanthropy Lecture

April 6, 2012

Noted Historian and Philanthropist George McCully will offer a lecture on philanthropy and the liberal arts education on Monday, April 23 at 7 p.m. in the Anderson Center for the Arts Theatre on the Hartwick College campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Today an intellectual revolution in philanthropy is connecting it with liberal education and the humanities. McCully, creator of the Massachusetts Catalogue for Philanthropy, author of Philanthropy Reconsidered, and a national leader in this movement, will explain why and how philanthropy is being transformed, and how that can strengthen both our national culture and colleges like Hartwick.

Philanthropy is McCully's second career. Trained in Renaissance history at Columbia University (M.A., 1961, Ph.D. 1967), he taught and published articles on history, the philosophy of history, and highereducation, for nearly 20 years-as a graduate student, at Queens and Bronx Community Colleges, Barnard and Columbia; then at Swarthmore, Princeton, Yale, and Wellesley, with two years in academic administration at Brown, as Assistant Dean of the Faculty.

In 1980 he entered professional philanthropy as Executive Director of the Center for Field Research, awarding $1.5 million annually in grants for field research in the sciences and humanities world-wide. This put him on a number of Boards, and by 1983 he was a full-time independent consultant in philanthropy, serving since then as fundraiser, strategic planner, trustee, and advisor to charities, foundations, families and individual donors. In 1984 he was founding Board President of the national Center for Plant Conservation-a consortium of 12 (now 31) leading botanic gardens from Boston to Hawaii, created to manage plant endangerment in the United States. For 20 years he has helped to build the Boston Early Music Festival as today the world's leading institution of Early Music. He is a 23-year trustee of the Ellis L. Phillips Foundation (Boston), and has helped to create four community foundations, serving for ten years as founding trustee of the Community Foundation of MetroWest (Boston). He is also a founding Board director (2008) of the Davlin Fund, a philanthropic mutual fund, and of its corporate Foundation.

In 1997 McCully led a coalition of 20 foundations, corporations, and individual donors, to create in Massachusetts the first Catalogue for Philanthropy (incorp. 2002), to promote charitable giving and strengthen the culture of philanthropy through donor education. He wrote vols. I-XI (884 pp.) of the Catalogues-articles about philanthropy supported by descriptions of over 900 charities, which is cumulatively the most thorough and detailed description, defense, and advocacy of philanthropy ever published.

Also in 1997 he created for public awareness purposes the "Generosity Index", which became the nation's leading stimulus for media discussions of charitable giving. Together the Catalogue and the Generosity Index played a leading role in doubling Massachusetts charitable giving in only four years (1997-2000), from $2 billion to $4 billion. In 2008 the Catalogue published his book, "Philanthropy Reconsidered" -an introduction to, and strategic overview of, philanthropy, from ancient Greece, through the American Revolution, to the current national paradigm-shift, which he first identified as such in two articles of Foundation News, in 2000.

In 2005 he conceived and has developed the Massachusetts Philanthropic Directory, launched in 2011-a systematic, comprehensive, analytical, on-line directory to all philanthropic charities of Massachusetts -the first designed interface between philanthropy as a whole and the donating public. The Directory system will be extended nationwide, to constitute a coherent national operating system for philanthropy. Dr. McCully is a member of the Editorial Board of Conversations on Philanthropy, and is a main author of the Wikipedia articles on "Philanthropy" and "Philanthropy in the United States" which have attracted over two million hits.

Dr. MuCully's lecture will be streamed live over the Internet from this link: mms://

This event part of Hartwick's 2011-12 Campus Theme, The Human Question. For additional information, contact Professor of History Peter Wallace at 607-431-4905 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030