The Funds of the Alderman Osterweis Families
2 Families | 50 Years of Community Philanthropy | 4 Funds
Siblings Myles Alderman and Jean Adnopoz remember their parents as caring deeply about people. Their father, Abner, had a close relationship to the community through the family's furniture company, while their mother, "Nan", was a volunteer chair of the Yale-New Haven Hospital gift shop. In 1969, the Abner A. Alderman Fund was established through gifts from family and friends as a permanent memorial to the father and husband who was known as a gentle, hardworking man. The fund would be amended to include Nan's name some 30 years later after her death.
“My parents’ interest in and concern for others encouraged my brother and me to become actively involved in our community,” says Jean. “I think our lives reflect what we’ve learned from them about giving back and the importance of caring about others.”
Years after the Alderman family established their fund, Stanley Loewenstein set up a fund in memory of his sister, Ruth Osterweis. Loewenstein, a founder of West Virginia's Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, knew that an endowment was the best way to permanently honor the generous spirit of his sister and benefit the New Haven community she grew to love.
“My mother devoted countless hours to volunteering at several non-profit organizations in New Haven,” recalls Nancy Osterweis Alderman, who is married to Myles Alderman. “She was a wonderful listener who always had time for others. My father Rollin was equally generous in sharing his time and talents not only with his Yale students and their college organizations but also with a number of New Haven non-profits, including the New Haven Historical Society and New Haven Preservation Trust.” Rollin Osterweis is credited with committing New Havenʼs history to paper in "Three Centuries of New Haven 1638–1938." The book is considered to be the only comprehensive document of New Havenʼs earliest history.
The unrestricted funds created by the Alderman and Osterweis families are flexible vehicles that support a broad range of charitable programs each year.
Lessons of philanthropy passed down, children take the lead in community activism
Continuing the family pattern of philanthropy, Myles, Jean and Nancy have all volunteered for Foundation-related projects and have spent their lives improving our human and natural resources.
After many years in the family business, Myles worked in development for The Nature Conservancy of Connecticut. He is a former member of The Foundation’s finance and development committees and a founding and former Board member of New Haven’s Urban Resources Initiative Inc. (URI). URI is a non-profit that collaborates with local New Haven community groups, residents and The Foundation to replant, restore, and reclaim the urban environment.
Jean Adnopoz has had a long-term interest in children and families and the health and social systems that support them. She is the former chair of the Special Commission on Infant and Child Health—a Foundation and City-driven effort in the 80s to reduce New Haven’s high infant mortality rate. She is a clinical professor at the Yale School of Medicine's Child Study Center and coordinates family programs that deliver support services to vulnerable children, some with serious emotional disturbances, and their families.
Nancy’s work concentrates on environmental issues. While president of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment (CFE) (1983-1986), she helped bring a lawsuit against the UpJohn Company in North Haven that had for years created both air and water pollution in that town. A settlement led to The Quinnipiac River Fund at The Foundation which annually distributes grants to keep the River clean. Following CFE, Nancy founded and is president of Environment and Human Health Inc. (EHHI), which strives to protect human health from environmental harms through research, education and promotion of sound public policy. EHHI receives some of its funding through an “organization endowment” of the same name at The Foundation, established by a fellow environmental advocate.
Is there a loved one that you would like to memorialize through charitable giving? To learn more, please contact Sharon Cappetta at (203) 777 - 7071.