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Larry Kressley Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS129
The Larry Kressley Papers contain correspondence, speeches, records of international travel, documentation of his promotion to executive director, and his retirement. Of particular interest are the records relating to the renovation and rededication of the True Reformer building, which contain several VHS tapes. Also included are organization for which he served on a volunteer basis, including the D.C. Private Industry Council, the Council on Foundations, and the National Network of Grantmakers. Numerous VHS tapes, DVDs, and several audio cassettes complement the paper holdings, with a focus on Kressley's interviews and speeches and the True Reformer Building.

Dates

  • 1982 - 2006

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Extent

1 Cubic Feet (1 record carton)

Biographical / Historical

Larry Kressley was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania on August 2, 1949. He attended Goddard College and Antioch College. Kressley was one of the first Volunteers in Service to America (today known as Americorps VISTA) in Arkansas in 1968. He later became a program director at Rural America. In 1982, Kressley began his employment with Public Welfare, first as a program officer, then senior program officer, interim executive director, and then director of the foundation in 1992.

Known for both for his critical eye and his respect for the grassroots organizations Public Welfare supported, Kressley cut needless bureaucracy when he became executive director and placed the focus of the organization on the communities it helped to improve. Symbolic of this commitment was the purchase and renovation of the True Reformer Building on U Street in Washington, D.C. as the new home for the foundation. The first building designed, financed, built, and owned by African Americans, the True Reformer Building was created by the self-help group the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers in 1903. Public Welfare worked closely with community partners to improve, but not to change the neighborhood, and offered its auditorium and meeting rooms to community groups. Several nonprofit organizations operated from the building rent free. Kressley sought to have additional land owned by Public Welfare to serve as the home of affordable housing, but the city denied the zoning request.

Kressley retired in 2006, having announced his retirement a year earlier to facilitate the search for his replacement. Deborah Leff succeeded him with the new title of president.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by by Larry Kressley, 2013. A2012/13-030.

Related Materials

Please see the following collections related to Larry Kressley and his work:

National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy Records, 1976-2012, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, IUPUI University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis.

National Network of Grantmakers Records, 1982-2006, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, IUPUI University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis.

Public Welfare Foundation Records, 1946-2007, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, IUPUI University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis.

General

Rights Statement: The text of this webpage is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).

Creator

Title
Larry Kressley Papers, 1982-2006
Status
completed
Author
Angela White
Date
2017-08
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Philanthropic Studies Archives Repository

Contact:
IUPUI University Library
755 W. Michigan St.
Room 0133
Indianapolis IN 46202 USA
317-274-4064