"When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.” 

-Charles Evans Hughes 

The Foundation’s grants derive from the estates of Catherine Hughes Waddell and her husband, Chauncey L. Waddell, in memory of her father, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes.

Charles Evans Hughes was born on April 11, 1862, the only child of a Welsh minister and a Scotch-Irish mother.  At age fourteen he entered Madison College (now Colgate University), and graduated from Brown University at nineteen.  After graduating from Columbia Law School in 1884, Hughes practiced law and was a law professor in New York. During this time he earned praise and public esteem for cleaning out an insurance racket, after which he defeated William Randolph Hearst to become Governor of New York.  Charles Evans Hughes was appointed Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1910 and narrowly lost the 1916 Presidential election to Woodrow Wilson.  He served as Secretary of State under President Harding, then as a Judge on the Permanent Court of International Justice at The Hague, and finally, from 1930 to 1941, Hughes was Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.  It was during his time as Chief Justice that he thwarted President Roosevelt’s attempt to “pack the Court” by increasing the number of Justices from nine to fifteen.

His family knew Hughes for his warmth, humor and humanity, in stark contrast to his stern public image.  This humanism remains a fundamental and guiding value of the Foundation.


  • Education
  • Legal & Human Rights
  • Environment, Population
     & Health
  • Arts & Culture