George C. Marshall Foundation
Founded in 1953 at the urging of President Harry Truman, the independent George C. Marshall Foundation is the place where the values that shaped and motivated Marshall are kept alive. The Foundation perpetuates Marshall’s example, his leadership qualities and character through outreach and educational programs, a museum and a research library that offers a wide range of resources and materials for use by the general public, amateur historians, scholars and students of all ages.
Few Americans have done as much for their nation and the world as George C. Marshall. As Army Chief of Staff during World War II, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, special envoy to China, and president of the Red Cross, Marshall was not only the architect of the Allies’ victory, he was also the prime mover behind the European Recovery Program (“The Marshall Plan”) that restored the economy of war-ravaged Europe. He was described as the "architect of victory" by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who said,"Succeeding generations must not be allowed to forget his achievements and his example."
The George C. Marshall Foundation, located in Lexington, Virginia, houses a library, archive, a museum and administrative offices dedicated to honor the legacy of George Catlett Marshall. The Foundation opened in 1964 in its own building on the post of the Virginia Military Institute, Marshall's alma mater.
The Marshall Foundation library and archives cover United States military & diplomatic history between the years of George Marshall's career as a military officer and public servant, roughly 1900-1960. Along with sorted paper collections, the library contains over 23,000 manuscripts, two million documents from the National Archives and Records Administration, hundreds of era maps, 700 posters from all countries involved in both World Wars, films, and over 200 oral histories.
The Work of the Marshall Foundation
The non-profit, nonpartisan, independent Marshall Foundation is the one place where the values that shaped and motivated Marshall are kept alive. As a unique resource, the Foundation perpetuates Marshall’s legacy as the person who “won the war and won the peace,” his leadership qualities and exemplary character through educational programs and facilities such as a world-class archives, a research library and a museum that offer a wide range of resources and materials for use, by members, the general public, amateur historians, scholars and students of all ages.
• The Marshall Legacy Series interprets General Marshall’s legacy through a multi-year series of events, programs and information centered on key themes, event or episodes in his career.
• Conferences and Symposia in collaboration with world-class organizations such as the Stimson Center on Pathways to Progress and other topics of interest to scholars, diplomats and business leaders.
• Special Events and Outreach, such as the George C. Marshall Foundation Award and the Andrew J. Goodpaster Award events in Washington.
• Research Library & Archives with one of the most comprehensive collections on the life of a world-famous individual ever assembled, also available to researchers online.
• Marshall Museum houses many historic artifacts, including the Nobel Peace Prize, that George C. Marshall received in 1953.
• The Marshall Papers, combined with the four-volume Pogue biography, present a comprehensive study of Marshall’s life and career.
The Marshall Legacy Series The George C. Marshall Legacy Series interprets General Marshall’s legacy through a multi-year series of events, programs and information centered on key themes, events or episodes in General Marshall’s career. Because his career touched nearly every major event of the first half of the 20th Century, the landscape for the Series is rich and vast. We will access our own resources and collections to create unique activities and events to share with the public.
The Legacy Series provides an exposition of the key moments in General Marshall’s life through selected documents and artifacts from our archives, articles, audiovisual presentations, unique museum exhibitions and speaker events and in doing so fleshes out who he was, what he did, how he did it and why he is still so relevant today. The goal is to make Marshall’s career and achievements popularly accessible and reinforce our claim to be the principal organization, nationally and internationally, that commemorates Marshall and defines his legacy.
Marshall Legacy Series Sequences:
• Codebreaking, April—June 2015
• Weapons of War, July—September 2015
• Taking Care of the Troops, October—December 2015
• All Who Want to Serve, January-April 2016
• Speed and Fury, May-August 2016
• Let’s Get A Move On, September-December 2016
• The Longest Wars, January-April 2017
• Europe’s Unlikely Recovery, May-August 2017
• Frenemies, September-December 2017
• Winter’s Coming, January-April 2018
• The Man for All Seasons, May-August 2018
The Growing Electronic Reach of the Foundation
The Marshall Foundation makes Marshall-related information and material from its extensive collections available to students, scholars and researchers online. The Foundation is continually adding content to its website. Electronic access is part of the mission of the Foundation to extend its reach broadly.
Additional access is provided through the distribution of audio and video files on YouTube, primary source documents for secondary educators on Pinterest, virtual field trips with Skype in the Classroom, iBooks on Apple iTunes, live-streamed events on Google+, and professional and social networking on outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked-In.
Marshall Foundation Leadership
The Foundation is led by a Board of Trustees of 20 members including the President of the Foundation, who oversees the work of 15 full-time and part-time staff in Lexington, Virginia. A Council of Advisors participates in many programs and events and includes several former trustees who wish to remain involved in the work of the Foundation.
Since 1997, in commemoration of the spirit of the Marshall Plan, the Foundation began to award this prize to individuals and organizations who have "demonstrated leadership that has furthered international humanitarian and economic development efforts...and [exhibit] the following personal and professional qualities practiced by George C. Marshall throughout his life of extraordinary public service:
- a career of distinguished public/civic service in the tradition of George C. Marshall;
- dignity and integrity of character;
- devotion to creating and perpetuating free and democratic institutions and promoting appropriate economic development which will allow them to flourish;
- nonpartisanship or bipartisanship."
Recent awards have been given to:
- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (2011)
- Frederick W. Smith, founder, chairman and CEO, FedEx (2010)
- U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates (2009)
- Former Senator John Warner and former Congressman Lee H. Hamilton (2007)
- Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, 2003
- Former President George H. W. Bush, 2002
- Former Banker David Rockefeller, 1999
- Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, 1997
The Andrew J. Goodpaster Award honors the life and service of General Andrew J. Goodpaster, a longtime trustee and a chairman of the Foundation, a champion of the Marshall legacy, an American hero, and an extraordinary public servant. The Goodpaster Award is presented to American business leaders, politicians, military leaders and others who have served our nation in exemplary ways, who, like General Goodpaster, have exhibited great courage, selfless service, patriotism and leadership in their lives and careers.
Recent awards have been given to:
- Army Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno (2014)
- Former Army Chief of Staff General Gordon R. Sullivan, USA (Ret.) (2012)
- Former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft (2008)
- The George C. Marshall Foundation
- The Virginia Military Institute
- The Marshall Films Collection
- The Marshall Plan Speech
- The George C. Marshall Foundation Award