The Columbian Foundation is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3), charitable organization founded in 1941 by business and professional men of Italian descent. Our primary objectives are to promote the culture and heritage of Italian ethnicity, to enhance the image of people of Italian descent, and to improve the cultural, educational, economic and social welfare of people of our community.
Over the past 75 years, The Columbian Foundation has participated in many works of philanthropy, and we are proud to have donated over a million dollars to various worthy causes during that time. Such efforts include primarily scholarship grants to needy medical students, law school students and college undergrads; contributions to various medical institutions such as hospitals and qualified medical charities; and the establishment of the Italian Institute and the Italian Studies Chair at Seton Hall University to promote teaching of the Italian language, literature and Italian culture and history.
Historically, The Foundation was one of the first organizations in the area to make a substantial donation to the Greater Newark Hospital Development Fund and continues that dedication to the medical profession to this day by being a principal donor to Rutgers Medical School. It has also made generous contributions to many other well-known causes outside the United States including the Italian Earthquake Relief Fund.
The cultural endeavors of The Foundation also include those in the musical arts, such as local symphony and opera groups. Financial aid and leadership are given to these organizations and others by The Foundation and by its members. In this regard, we are fortunate to number among our membership prominent businessman and leaders who recognize their civic responsibility and take leadership positions on Boards of Directors and in Management of various groups.
As a primary means of raising funds, the Annual Awards Dinner honors individuals who have achieved prominence in working toward our objectives in various fields. In past years, thousands of individuals have attended these dinners to honor men and women of outstanding achievement while supporting the goals of The Foundation.