LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 30, No.3 - Fall 1984
Editor of this issue: Antanas Klimas
Copyright © 1984 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
Lietuvių Fondas. Lithuanian Foundation
Lietuvių Fondas. Lithuanian Foundation. Lietuvių Fondo pirmasis dvidešimtmetis 1962-1982 ('The First Twenty Years of the Lithuanian Foundation, 1962-1982'). Lithuanian Foundation, Inc., Chicago, 1983. 448 pages, large format. Hard covers. $20.00.
This book, which might be called an album, was edited by Apolinaras P. Bagdonas with the help of several other members of the editorial committee. It portrays very vividly the beginnings, the organizational structure, the growth of this rather unusual financial/cultural foundation. Lithuanian Foundation (further: LF) began its work in 1962 and at the time of this writing (summer, 1984), has reached almost three million dollars in its basic capital holdings. Certainly, it would be unfair to compare the LF with those multi-million dollar foundations where the moneys were given, or left, by one or several individuals, by a family, or an enterprise. LF is a community-based financial/cultural institution. Its origins are described as follows:
The idea for establishing the Lithuanian Foundation was first brought up by Petras Lickus and Pranas Puronas in 1951. But it was only ten years later, in 1960, that an article by Dr. Antanas Razma, "A Million Dollar Fund for Lithuanian Needs" appeared in Draugas. This idea created a substantial reaction within the Lithuanian community. At that time spirited discussions arose in the Lithuanian press regarding the establishment of such a foundation. Antanas Musteikis, Vincas Ignaitis, M. G. Vilius, J. Tarulis, Vytautas Ciuprinskas and others began writing about this matter, emphasizing the significance and the need for such a foundation (p. 18).
The basic aim of the LF is to collect capital, which remains untouched, but invested. The income from this capital would support various Lithuanian educational, cultural, scientific and youth activities. To quote from the book again:
The Lithuanian Foundation Grants Committee entertains grant proposals from all sectors of the community. The Committee consists of three Lithuanian Foundation representatives and three Lithuanian American Community of the U.S.A. representatives. The greatest percentage is appropriated for educational needs, that is about 30 percent.
Also, the Lithuanian Foundation has supported the teaching of the Lithuanian language at the University of Chicago, Illinois Circle Campus and at Fordham University. According to the contributors' wishes, the Committee also appropriates money for scholarships for Lithuanian students. It has made a commitment to support the establishment of the Chair of Lithuanian Studies at the University of Illinois Circle, (p. 19).
Some statistics will illustrate the growth of the LF. They are taken from p. 129, and are selected from every five years:
Already by the end of 1982, more than a million dollars (really: 1,031,585) was distributed for various Lithuanian activities. But, as it was mentioned before, the basic capital is rapidly approaching three million dollars.
In addition to the various articles describing the origin and the functioning of the LF, there is a full list of all the members, both individuals as well as community organizations (pp. 199-317). (One has to contribute $100 to become a member of the LF; many people and organizations have contributed much more). After the membership list (as of 1982), there follow several hundred photographs of the members, which were sent in voluntarily (pp. 320-445). Finally, there is a list of supporters of this book/album.
The Lithuanian Foundation has been very supportive of Lituanus; for the last several years, Lituanus has received generous support from the LF.