Cordelia Scaife May: A Stalwart in Environmental Philanthropy


Emerging from the illustrious Mellon family, Cordelia Scaife May etched a distinctive path, steering philanthropic causes with a profound
focus on environmental conservation. Cordelia’s affinity for nature and her
commitment to safeguarding the environment serve as a beacon of inspiration for generations to come. 

Born in 1928, Cordelia was the embodiment of the Mellon family’s philanthropic spirit. Her
ancestors, Judge Thomas Mellon and Andrew W. Mellon, played key roles in
shaping America’s economic landscape. Despite the family’s vast wealth,
Cordelia Scaife May was not one to bask in the limelight. Instead, her
introverted disposition stirred her towards developing a deep connection with
nature and conservation. 

Cordelia’s philanthropic journey found its purpose in the Colcom Foundation, a
Pittsburgh-based organization she founded. Through Colcom, Cordelia Scaife May devoted her resources to environmental conservation
and education. This commitment was not limited within the borders of Pittsburgh
or even the United States; her altruism extended to properties in Hawaii, which
were bequeathed to local conservation organizations. 

Cordelia Scaife May’s approach to philanthropy was strategic and insightful. She ensured that
her legacy would continue to support causes that were in tune with her values.
The Cordelia Scaife May Family Trust, funded with inheritance from her mother,
was incorporated within the Colcom Foundation, reflecting
Cordelia’s unwavering commitment to her chosen cause. 

Cordelia’s story is not merely a tale of wealth and privilege. It is a testament to the potent
impact a single individual can make when resources are harnessed for the
greater good. Her legacy serves as a reminder that wealth can be a catalyst for
positive change when guided by purpose and conviction. 

Cordelia Scaife May passed away in 2005, leaving behind a rich legacy that continues to inspire.
While her name may not echo in every conversation, her impact resonates in
every contribution made towards environmental conservation. Her life story
stands as a testament to the power of the individual and the enduring legacy of
philanthropy. Read this article for more information. 


Learn more about Cordelia Scaife May on 





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