About Us

The W. M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 in Los Angeles by William Myron Keck, founder of The Superior Oil Company. Our Foundation is one of the nation's largest philanthropic organizations, with assets of more than $1 billion.

Mr. Keck envisioned a philanthropic institution that would provide far-reaching benefits for humanity. By taking a bold, creative approach to grantmaking, he created a legacy that the Foundation proudly upholds today.

In recent years, the Foundation has focused on Science and Engineering Research; Medical Research; Undergraduate Education; and Southern California. Each of our grant programs invests in people and programs that are making a difference in the quality of life, now and for the future.

Supporting pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medical research has been our mandate for a half-century. By funding the work of leading researchers, the establishment of unique laboratories and research centers, and the purchase of sophisticated instruments, we are laying the groundwork for breakthrough discoveries and new technologies that will save lives, provide innovative solutions to complex problems and add immeasurably to our understanding of life on Earth and our place in the universe.

Our support of Southern California-based organizations enriching the lives of our region's residents has expanded and deepened over the years. We place a special emphasis on children, youth and their families, with the goal of providing safe, healthy, supportive environments that prepare children to succeed in school and in life.

We believe that a high-quality, well-rounded college education is vital for tomorrow's leaders. The Foundation supports undergraduate education through Board initiated special projects that promote inventive approaches to instruction and effective involvement of students in research at colleges across the nation.

Please note that the Foundation does not make grants to individuals, or to institutions outside the United States.

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