January 23, 2018
New President of the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund Elected
The Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund is pleased to announce the selection of Eliza Kempner Thomas Quigley as incoming President. Eliza assumed leadership of the Kempner Fund from Robert Lee Kempner Lynch, who completed 40 years of service to the Fund and will remain on the Board as an honorary director.
Eliza KT Quigley is the granddaughter of Lyda Kempner and Arthur Quinn and the daughter of Lyda Ann Quinn and Jerry Redmond Thomas.
Eliza first became involved with the Kempner Fund at the age of 18 at the encouragement of her late mother and great aunt, Henrietta “Nonie” Kemp-ner Thompson, to gain knowledge and experience of the family’s philan-thropic priorities and board operations. In 2005, Eliza was elected to the Board of Directors and has served in several capacities, most recently as Vice-President and Chair of the Nominating Committee.
Quigley earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Boston University and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds certifications in fine and decorative arts from the Royal Society of Arts with Christie’s Auctioneers in London, and in Substance Abuse Counseling from the University of California at Los Angeles and is a Licensed Masters Social Worker.
Quigley grew up in Galveston and returned home in 2005, after 20 years pursing her education and living and working in various locations around the globe. She married Daniel Sarsfield Quigley of Galveston in 2006 and they have two children together, Quinn Kempner and Kadin Redmond.
Quigley is honored and humbled to have been chosen to serve as the Board President as her mother, great aunt and cousins before her have. “The Fund will continue to follow the intent of its founders by supporting the diverse needs of our Galveston families and our community”
The Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund started in 1946 when family members created the Galveston Fund. It was their belief that money should be set aside to help those in Galveston so that when the need arose, then there would be a vehicle to attend to those in need. The Fund started with a corpus of $50,000 and has grown through wise investing along with additional contributions from family members to over forty million. The name was changed in 1950 to the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund in order to honor progenitors.
Today, the Fund’s Board consists of nine family members along with two outside directors and meets two times a year. The focus continues to be on Galveston Island with 95% of grant funds being distributed here. The Fund addresses needs in the five broad areas of human services, health, education, arts, and community development including environmental issues and historic preservation. For years the Fund has had a program related investment (PRI) program in place, which provides below market rate loans to non-profits for charitable activities.
In 2010 a small set aside for “green projects” was established; the funds are used for pilot recycling and energy saving projects. And in 2012 a vocational technical scholarship program was started, in memory of Cecile Kempner, at Galveston College to enhance the educational and employment opportunities for vocational students.
In 2015, The Kempner Fund began mission related investing, using some of its corpus to effectively address needs in the Galveston community. The Fund seeks opportunities to invest its funds so that they might further the Fund’s mission and at the same time help projects in Galveston that might not otherwise be done while still returning a market rate income to the Fund. Since 2009 the Fund has transitioned 53% of its investments to managers that practice socially responsible investing.
The Fund continues to support the intent of its founders with its goal of being there when the Galveston community is in need.
Eliza K. T. Quigley, LMSW