The Pittsburgh Foundation

Willa Cather Fund

Established: 4/21/1959

Willa Cather's legacy is celebrated by this fund, so named at the suggestion of poet Robert Frost who noted in a 1960 telecast in Pittsburgh that chairs and funds should be named for distinguished public school teachers.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning American author was, in fact, a teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools during the 10 years she lived in Pittsburgh, from 1896 to 1906. While she went on to achieve great fame for her novels of frontier life, she was a teacher of English and Latin in Central and Allegheny high school early in her career, following her graduation from the University of Nebraska.

The fund, administered by The Pittsburgh Foundation, is combined with funds bequeathed by the Board of Public Education of the City of Pittsburgh and Lida S. McHattie, a retired teacher with Pittsburgh Public Schools who asked that the fund be named following Frost's advice.

The fund is focused on bringing valuable new ideas to the public schools system by increasing the community's understanding and support of public schools. It is "essentially a fund for planning at the administrative level," an open-ended trust to improve the educational curriculum at Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Type of Fund

  • Field of Interest