The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York City in the United States is a private foundation with five core areas of interest, and endowed with wealth accumulated by Andrew W. Mellon of the Mellon family of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is the product of the 1969 merger of the Avalon Foundation and the Old Dominion Foundation. These foundations were set up separately by Paul Mellon and Ailsa Mellon Bruce, the children of Andrew W. Mellon. It is housed in the expanded former offices of the Bollingen Foundation in New York City, another educational philanthropy supported by Paul Mellon. Elizabeth Alexander is the Foundation's president. Her predecessors have included Earl Lewis, Don Randel, William G. Bowen, John Edward Sawyer, and Nathan Pusey. In 2004, the Foundation was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Core areas of interest
- Higher education, including the humanities, libraries, and scholarly communication and information technology
- Museums and art conservation
- Performing arts
- Conservation and the environment
Mellon has a small research group that has investigated doctoral education, collegiate admissions, independent research libraries, charitable nonprofits, scholarly communications, and other issues in order to ensure that the foundation's grants would be well-informed and more effective. Some of the recent publications of this effect include Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education, Reclaiming the Game: College Sports and Educational Values, JSTOR: A History, The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values, and The Shape of the River.
Mellon's endowment has fluctuated in the range of $5–6 billion in recent years, and its annual grantmaking has been on the order of $300 million.