After a career in investment management with Alliance Capital in New York City and in Cleveland, raising two boys and many years of volunteering, Anna Adams decided it was time to re-enter the workforce. She wanted to find a way to use her financial background to make a difference in the community. In 2015, she found her opportunity as treasurer of the John Huntington Fund for Education, a scholarship granting organization providing financial support to students in Cuyahoga County pursuing a scientific, technical or vocational education. The Huntington Fund provides grants to Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Central School of Practical Nursing, Cleveland Institute of Art, College Now, John Carroll University, Notre Dame College, and Ursuline College with the goal of creating educational opportunities for deserving students. The Huntington Fund has provided thousands of students with educational opportunities they may not have had otherwise, Anna said.
The John Huntington Fund for Education was created from the estate of John Huntington, a prominent Cleveland industrialist and philanthropist who held several patents in the oil refining business and whose company would eventually merge with John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company in 1870. Huntington, who was a member of City Council from 1862-1875, made many charitable contributions during his lifetime, and upon his death, The John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust was established through his will. The first mission of the Trust was to establish an art museum in Cleveland, which subsequently led to the construction of The Cleveland Museum of Art. The Trust also created a Polytechnic Institute to promote scientific and technical education, providing free evening classes in over 160 technical subjects. In 1953, it was determined that students would be better served by many of the local colleges that had emerged and the John Huntington Fund for Education was created in its place and has since that time operated solely as a scholarship granting organization.
The Huntington Fund has been a member of the Fund since its inception because it saw how it could further leverage its mission through the work of the Fund. “The Fund’s efforts to bring together elements of philanthropy, business and government to help foster economic growth in the region are helping to create jobs for the very students that the John Huntington Fund targets for its giving,” Anna said.
Outside of her work with the foundation, Anna helps students as a mentor with College Now, which she finds to be a very rewarding experience. “Two years into the program, I’ve learned how truly powerful [the] African proverb is, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.’ While statistics show how successful this program has been for the mentees, what I’ve experienced as a mentor goes well beyond what any numbers can measure,” Anna said.
When Anna isn’t busy helping students, she can be found enjoying one of her hobbies. “I enjoy getting creative in the kitchen, taking long hikes with my dog, curling up with a good book and most of all spending time with family, many of which live in Sweden where I am originally from,” Anna said.