The values of the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation stem directly from our founders.

Gaylord and Dorothy were avid lovers of the outdoors. They both hunted, and Dorothy was a champion dog breeder. Accordingly, they both cared deeply about protecting land in Illinois and also in their second home in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.


Among their land legacies is the 800-acre Donnelley-DePue Wildlife Area along the Illinois River. In recognition of their land conservation leadership in the ACE Basin, the 8,000-acre Donnelley Wildlife Management Area was named in their honor.


The Donnelleys were equally devoted to the arts. Perhaps some of that devotion was born in the summer that a young Gaylord spent fishing with Ernest Hemingway in Wyoming. Throughout their married life, the Donnelleys were season subscribers of many arts organizations, and, from the inception of their Foundation in 1952, they were generous supporters of the arts.


Like his grandfather and father before him, Gaylord was a printer. Ink ran in his blood and he was a devout lover of books. As chairman of the R.R. Donnelley Company, he continued the tradition, begun by his father in 1903, of publishing Lakeside Classics – high quality reprints about American history. These books, published once per year, were never sold but rather given as gifts to company employees and those closely related to the firm. Still published today, many have become prized collectors’ items.


The legacy of Gaylord and Dorothy continues through the active involvement of their children and grandchildren. Along with non-family board members, they continue to guide and enrich the Foundation’s work.


Gay & Dot in the Lowcountry

1st Foundation Board in 1952