Bryan Area Foundation History

In 1969, two men conceived the idea of a community foundation that would serve the Bryan area. Lemuel L. Hawk, director and senior vice president of The Aro Corporation, and John B. Dwyer, III, attorney and president of Citizens National Bank, called together a close group of associates and formed what would become the Bryan Area Foundation.

The Bryan Area Foundation is a publicly supported community foundation, using donations to accomplish diverse philanthropic goals. By working through the Foundation, donors can make a significant difference in the life of their community.

Today the Bryan Area Foundation has over $38.6 million in assets and oversees 396 separate funds. More importantly over the last 54 years, the Foundation has distributed over $17.9 million in grants and scholarships.

The Bryan Area Foundation is governed by a board of trustees and also serves as the administrator of the Edon, Montpelier and Millcreek-West Unity Area Foundations.

During the Foundation’s history, the following people have served as Chairman of the Board:


1969-1975 – Lemuel Hawk
1975-1981 – Theodore Spangler
1981-1986 – Bruce Benedict
1986-1991 – Richard Reed
1991-1996 – Wayne Shaffer
1996-2001 – Thomas Herman
2001-2004 – C. Gregory Spangler
2004-2006 – Kay Jackson
2006-2008 – James Bard
2008-2010 – Julie A. Brown
2010-2012 – Dean L. Spangler
2012-2014 – Ralph W. Gallagher
2014-2016 – James C. Wood, III
2016-2018 – William G. Martin
2018-2020 – Pamela Bard Steel
2020-2022 – Michael A. Shaffer
2022-2024 – Diana Moore Eschhofen

FOUNDATION HONORS CHARTER MEMBERS – In 1995 the Bryan Area Foundation honored 10 members for 25 years of dedicated service to the Foundation. Seated from left, Dr. H.R. Mayberry, Richard Reed and Grant Brown; standing, Bill Weaver, Randolph Bard, Wayne Shaffer, George Isaac, Bruce Benedict, Ford Cullis and Ted Spangler