Dr. Lucile West Hutaff
Cumberland Community Foundation began as the dream of one woman, Dr. Lucile West Hutaff. Dr. Hutaff, a Fayetteville native, graduated from Fayetteville High School in 1929. She attended Women’s College in Greensboro for two years and received her medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine.
Dr. Hutaff returned to Fayetteville in 1972 upon her retirement as a professor at Bowman-Gray Medical School in Winston-Salem, NC, and started Cumberland Community Foundation in July 1980 with an unrestricted gift of over $575,000. She had seen The Winston-Salem Foundation in action and wanted to bring this concept to her hometown. In establishing the Cumberland Community Foundation, Dr. Hutaff envisioned an organization that would aim to encourage the application of new ideas and novel ways to improve the quality of cultural and civic life for the community.
“Dr. Lucile Hutaff was a very special person. She was born in Fayetteville, spent her youth here, left for higher education and a life as a teaching and research physician, and returned to her home to complete her days on Earth.
Lucile learned from her parents that it was important to support philanthropic enterprise in your community by sharing the wealth you made in it. She was pleased to recall that her father, owner of Coca Cola Bottling Company, tithed each year in support of community endeavor.
While a professor of medicine in Winston-Salem, she saw the community foundation there offer a way for everyone to participate in supporting community development. It was exceedingly important to Lucile to bring the voices of many, not just the wealthiest, to bear on community progress. She began to understand the community foundation model as a way to preserve and develop philanthropic dollars, concentrating community wealth so that it could be directed to paths of charitable endeavor that would benefit all citizens.
When she retired and returned to Fayetteville, she believed that Cumberland County would benefit from the development of a community foundation. And so, between 1980 and 1981, she established the Cumberland Community Foundation with an unrestricted gift of $576,840. Through investment, that initial gift has grown to more than twice what she contributed. From the investment income, the Foundation has paid more than $1.5 million in grants to community and charitable projects.
Cumberland County will be forever grateful for the vision and dedication of Dr. Lucile Hutaff, for her gift of the Cumberland Community Foundation, and for leading the way by example. Other citizens of Cumberland County have followed her lead by investing charitable dollars with Cumberland Community Foundation. She would be as grateful to them as we are to her. Investing in our community’s progress today brings benefits today, tomorrow and forever.”
– Mary Lynn McCree Bryan, friend of Lucile Hutaff