The Surdna Foundation was founded in 1917 by John Emory Andrus to pursue a range of philanthropic purposes. John Andrus was born in 1841 in Pleasantville, New York, graduated from Wesleyan University and soon moved from teaching school to pursuing his talents as a an investor and a businessman. His primary business, the Arlington Chemical Company, manufactured and distributed typical medicines of the day, and his business interests included large land holdings as far away as Alaska.
Learn more about the history of the Andrus family and the start of the Surnda Foundation in this video. Please note, there is no sound with this video.