The Columbian Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1941 by business and professional men of Italian descent from Newark and surrounding communities. The objectives of The Foundation are dedicated to improving the cultural, educational, economic and social welfare of New Jersey citizens and institutions.
The work of philanthropy engaged in by The Columbian Foundation are legendary. They include college scholarships for needy students; contributions to children's welfare and charitable organizations; donations to Columbus Hospital to aid in indigent patients; the establishment of the Italian Institute at Seton Hall University to promote the teaching of Italian and to encourage interest in Italian culture, and the support of similar programs at other colleges, universities and hospitals.
The Foundation was one of the first organizations in the area to make a substantial donation to the Greater Newark Hospital Development Fund. It made a generous contribution to the Italian earthquake Relief Fund and to the Leukemia Society of America and this year has made a substantial contribution and pledge to the establishment of the Italian Studies Chair at Seton Hall University.
The cultural endeavors of The Foundation include those in art, symphonic music and opera. Financial aid and leadership are given to these organizations by The Foundation and by its members.
As a primary means of raising funds, the Annual Awards Dinner honors individual achievements in various fields. In past years, thousands of individuals have attended these dinners, and through that attendance have simultaneously honored men and women of outstanding achievement while supporting the works of The Foundation.