Tuesday Jun 18, 2024

Legacy of Care: Cordelia Scaife May’s Generosity for the Environment

Cordelia Scaife May, the daughter of Sarah Cordelia Mellon Scaife and Alan Magee Scaife,
left an indelible mark on the world through her unwavering commitment to
philanthropy and environmental conservation. Born into a family known for their
wealth and influence, Cordelia continued the Mellon family’s tradition of
giving back to society. 

Cordelia Scaife May was born on December 10, 1928, and grew up in a life of privilege. However, her
reclusive nature and introverted personality shaped much of her adult life.
Despite her reserved demeanor, Cordelia’s dedication to supporting worthwhile causes
was unwavering. 

Her mother, Sarah Cordelia Mellon Scaife, was an heiress to the Mellon fortune and a generous
donor to various humanitarian causes. Cordelia inherited her mother’s spirit of
philanthropy and carried it forward through her own initiatives. 

Environmental conservation and education were at the forefront of Cordelia’s philanthropic
focus. She dedicated herself to protecting American Indian archaeological sites
and donated her Westmoreland County property to a national preservation
society. Cordelia also supported limits on immigration, driven by her belief
that unchecked population growth and urbanization had significant environmental implications. 

In 1973, she founded the Colcom Foundation, a Pittsburgh-based organization committed to
environmental conservation and sustainability. Through the foundation, Cordelia
ensured that her legacy would continue to support causes aligned with her values. 

Cordelia’s generosity extended beyond geographical boundaries. She bequeathed her
properties in Maui and Kauai to the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii and the
National Tropical Botanical Garden, respectively. Additionally, her land in
Virginia supported the International Academy for Preventive Medicine. 

Cordelia Scaife May passed away in January 2005, leaving behind a legacy of philanthropy and
environmental stewardship. Cordelia Scaife May’s contributions continue to inspire others to make a positive impact, and
organizations like Colcom Foundation carry forth her mission. 

In a world where wealth often defines individuals, Cordelia Scaife May’s story serves as a
reminder of the transformative power of using privilege to benefit society. Her
dedication to environmental conservation, education, and humanitarian causes
will forever be remembered and celebrated. Read this article for additional information. 


More about Cordelia Scaife May on https://www.crunchbase.com/person/cordelia-scaife-may 




Back to Top