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Bryan fund exits – Assets going to family’s charities

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By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Kathleen Price Bryan Family Fund in Greensboro, one of North Carolina’s leading foundations, is going out of business.

Based on a recommendation by the group’s two oversight members, the foundation’s $70 million in assets is being distributed to three charitable funds managed by members of the family of the late Joseph M. and Kathleen Price Bryan.

Those funds are The Anonymous Fund, the Julian Price Family Foundation and The Stewards Fund.

“As an organization, we have decided that the program interests and geographic areas of interest to family members are diverse enough to warrant this change,” J.M. Bryan Taylor of Charlotte, the Family Fund’s acting executive director, says in a written statement.

“We felt this was the most effective and efficient way to pursue the interests of the descendants of Kathleen Price Bryan, who will, each in their own way, honor her charitable spirit,” he says.

The recommendation to dissolve the Bryan Family Fund was made by its two members — William Friday, retired president of the University of North Carolina System and retired executive director of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust in Chapel Hill, and Joel Fleishman, president of Atlantic Philanthropic Service Co. in New York.

The members appointed the foundation’s board, which oversaw the foundation’s operations.

“It seems apparent that the members, given the pattern of operation of the trust over recent years, felt that to continue the effective operation of the benefactions Mr. and Mrs. Bryan established, these steps were necessary,” says Friday.

“The members reviewed the operation of the trust,” he says, “and reached a recommendation that was made as being the only action that could be taken to continue the good work that the members knew Mr. and Mrs. Bryan intended for this trust to achieve.”

The foundation did not make new grants last year, although it met grant commitments it had made earlier, says Taylor, the acting executive director.

“We have, of course, fulfilled all of our commitments to our many current grant recipients across North Carolina,” he says.

New grant-making was suspended after the board failed to recruit an executive director to succeed William Massey, who resigned and took a job as president of the National Charities Information Bureau in Washington, D.C.

The foundation was created in 1955 as the Kathleen Price and Joseph M. Bryan Family Foundation, which focused its efforts on strengthening communities throughout the state.

Trustees of the foundation changed its name in 1996 to avoid confusion with the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation of Greater Greensboro, which Mr. Bryan created in 1984.

Mr. Bryan, who requested the name change and resigned from the board of the Family Fund, died in 1995, leaving much of his estate to the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, which makes grants mainly in the Greensboro area. Its assets total about $120 million.

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