The English, Bonter, Mitchell Foundation was established in 1972 as a tribute to Dr. Calvin English – the first medical director of the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company. A Fort Wayne native, Dr. English was instrumental in the formation and success of Lincoln Life. His wife, Mary Tower English, his sister-in-law, Louise Bonter, and his daughter, Mary Elizabeth Mitchell, established the Foundation to honor Dr. English and to continue his legacy of community enrichment for the city he loved.
Today the Foundation is doing just that with more than $5 million contributed to charitable organizations in the last year. The Foundation’s criteria in selecting recipients mandates that organizations must be operated for public purposes and qualify for not-for-profit status. The list of organizations which the Foundation has contributed is widely varied. However, each exhibits a spirit of giving that comes from the heart.
Dr. English’s daughter, Mary Elizabeth Mitchell, whole-heartedly believed her father would want to continue to help Fort Wayne, so most of the allocations are to organizations in and around the city. Furthermore, Mrs. Mitchell felt it was right to provide funds to her father’s favorite causes – scientific and medical education and the arts.
40 years after its inception, the English, Bonter, Mitchell Foundation quietly continues its mission. Twice each year, in May and December, the Foundation distributes millions of dollars to organizations in and around Fort Wayne perpetuating the philanthropic legacy as intended by Mary Tower English, Louise Bonter and Mary Elizabeth Mitchell.