Established in 1947 by Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen, The Cullen Foundation has a history of giving generously to support cultural arts, education, health care and public service in Texas, primarily in the greater Houston area. Cullen Family members still take active roles as Directors of the Foundation continuing the legacy of giving initiated by Mr. and Mrs. Cullen during their lives.
The original gift from Mr. and Mrs. Cullen to establish the Foundation consisted of working interests in oil and gas properties. Over the ensuing years the working interests, later converted into royalty interests, were gradually depleted and the residual holdings were disposed of in 2000. As the Foundation reduced its dependence on oil and gas income, its portfolio of marketable securities and other investments began to grow. As of December 31, 2020 the portfolio had an approximate market value of $370 million.
The list of organizations receiving grants from the Foundation is long and diverse, covering a wide range of needs. The Foundation has distributed over $500 million in grants since inception. Please visit our Grant History page for funding details for the most recent years and grant payment amounts by program area since inception.
The $500 million in grants since inception includes over $44 million in grants made to fund three Cullen trusts in the 1970’s. Each trust has an independent board of trustees dedicated to a single purpose and continues to award grants of their own each year. The trusts are The Cullen Trust for Health Care, The Cullen Trust for Higher Education and The Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts.