Dreams Made Real

Summer, 2014 Like many Vermonters, I have the good fortune to spend part of each winter down South. Traveling by car, I get to see different cities, towns, and landscapes along the way. I’m always struck by the diversity of this country, particularly by the wealth of some and the poverty of others.

On our last trip, we stopped by to see the Biltmore estate, an immense manor built by George Vanderbilt. With 250 rooms, it is the largest home ever built in the U.S. This estate in some way represents the American dream. George Vanderbilt was the grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, a business magnate who, with a borrowed $100, built a business empire and became the richest man in America—the American ideal.

Cornelius was also a philanthropist who founded Vanderbilt University, obviously named in his honor. In this, Cornelius Vanderbilt and The Curtis Fund founder, Emma Eliza Curtis, shared a common belief in the need for education. Although much more modest than the Vanderbilt fortune, The Curtis Fund has grown from $120,000 to over $30,500,000. The money generated by The Fund has helped thousands of Vermonters get the education to pursue their own versions of the American Dream.

We look forward to many more years of dreams pursued and successes achieved.

Joe Boutin, Chair, The Curtis Fund Board of Directors