Our History (William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund)

Listen to the history of the Memorial Fund, as told by Bill Graustein: The Story of the Memorial Fund.

Listening to the stories of the people, families and communities we work with is an essential part of our work. Supporting and inspiring the children of our communities is what we seek to achieve.

Archibald Graustein The Graustein family immigrated to Boston from Prussia in 1874. Adolph was only 12 but understood the value of learning. A decade later, Adolph started his own family. Determined that his children should make the most of the freedom and opportunities of this country, he encouraged all six to pursue education as a way of creating their own opportunities. Each Graustein child – Archibald, William, Jeannette, Alice, Edward, and Winifred – pursued education with vigor and applied the skills and insights he or she acquired to innovate, lead or establish new directions.

Archibald Graustein, the eldest child and father of trustee Bill Graustein, became a very successful businessman. At an age when many people are resting on past accomplishments, Archibald Graustein began a new career bringing new purpose and a new direction to his work. He created the Memorial Fund in 1946 to honor the memory of his brother William Caspar Graustein who died tragically in an automobile accident one year earlier.

Archibald GrausteinArchibald believed that academic accomplishment could benefit both individuals and society as a whole. The Memorial Fund was established to support the kind of institutions that made it possible for this immigrant family to thrive within the United States.

Archibald’s widow, Hallie Hubbard Graustein, with her son by her side, decided that assets left to her in trust at her husband’s death should go to the Memorial Fund when she passed away. Mrs. Graustein died in 1993 leaving a significant amount to the Memorial Fund. As a result of this gift, the Memorial Fund was able to focus its philanthropy more purposefully on supporting education. That same year, the Trustees established its mission: To improve the effectiveness of education in fostering both personal development and leadership. This mission reflects the enduring values that the Memorial Fund seeks to promote as a memorial to its namesake and to honor the experiences and achievements of an immigrant family of the nineteenth century.

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