Edith Dulles is the teacher you'd want for your most challenging class. She's friendly, patient with questions, pleased to share what she knows, and ready to listen. She started her teaching career at a community college in Austin and finished it at the Greenhill School in Dallas.
Although now retired, she continues to be an educator. Fluent in Spanish, she still tutors and volunteers with Reading Partners, which helps struggling elementary students become strong readers.
Edith has also been learning about local needs and organizations through The Dallas Foundation's Women's Philanthropy Institute.
"It's been so educational," she said. "It's wonderful to know all of the agencies that give so much to the community."
Edith's commitment to education, service, and philanthropy is rooted in her family's values. Her father, John W. F. Dulles, was a brilliant, adventurous man who worked briefly in banking before heading to Arizona in the late 1930s to try his luck with a mining company. Mining jobs sent John and his growing family to Monterrey, Mexico, and then Brazil, where Edith lived as a young girl.
Her father was self-deprecating and egalitarian, so it was a shock when Edith arrived in Texas for boarding school in the late 1950s and found herself treated differently because of her family's prominent name. Her grandfather, John Foster Dulles, was U.S. secretary of state under Dwight D. Eisenhower. Her great-uncle, Allen Dulles, was director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Her uncle, Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., was an internationally known author and lecturer.
In the 1960s, her parents returned to the United States, where her father joined the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin. He taught Latin American studies for 45 years and wrote a dozen books. He also gave generously throughout his life but rarely talked about it.
Edith wants to pass on the Dulles family's values by involving her children and grandchildren as she plans her charitable legacy, which includes a bequest to The Dallas Foundation in support of education.
Working with the team at The Dallas Foundation has given Edith the knowledge and guidance she needs to shape her charitable legacy.
Header photo: Edith's grandfather, Former U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (center) with his wife, sons, and daughter; body photo: Edith enjoys conversation with fellow members of the Women's Philanthropy Institute.