Mellon Foundation, officially the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, philanthropic trust formed (1969) through the merger of the Avalon Foundation (est. 1940 by Ailsa Mellon Bruce) and the Old Dominion Foundation (est. 1941 by Paul Mellon). Prior to the merger, the Avalon Foundation distributed funds to hospitals and health agencies, educational institutions, and cultural programs including the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. The Old Dominion Fund concentrated on the humanities and liberal education. The merged foundation, with assets of $4.7 billion (2003), continues to support the areas of health, higher education, and the humanities (museums, art conservation, and performing arts), and has added programs in conservation and the environment and public affairs. Other philanthropic foundations endowed by members of the Mellon family include the Richard King Mellon Foundation (est. 1947) and the R. K. Mellon Family Foundation (est. 1978).
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