CGMF celebrates George P. Mitchell at 105


U.S. President Jimmy Carter and George Mitchell at a Mitchell-founded Woodlands Conference, a gathering of leaders addressing sustainable society issues, in the late 1970s in The Woodlands, Texas. 

Austin (May 21, 2024)—The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation (CGMF) celebrates the 105th anniversary of George P. Mitchell’s birth, reflecting on the enduring legacy of a Texas icon who passed away on July 26, 2013 in Galveston.

His unique position as an innovator in energy systems while advocating for sustainable practices is known today as the “Mitchell Paradox.” This duality underpins the complex legacy of an individual whose innovations revolutionized America’s energy sector while firmly committing to responsible, sustainable development, environmental stewardship, and the advancement of advanced energy technologies.

The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation reflects Mitchell’s broader vision, working as an engine of change in Texas’s policy and practice, supporting high-impact projects and practices at the nexus of environmental protection, social equity, and economic vibrancy.

CGMF lends its voice to the ongoing dialogue and debate in several sustainability-related grantmaking programs focused in Texas, including Clean Energy, Land Conservation, the Mitchell Innovation Lab, Subsurface Energy, and Water. Additionally, the foundation strongly emphasizes sustainability science education, believing that an informed and engaged next generation of leaders is critical to addressing current and future environmental challenges.  

The foundation operates Cook’s Branch Conservancy, an ecological preserve encompassing approximately 7,100 fenced acres, and actively supports a program in Galveston, Mitchell’s hometown, aimed at enhancing community resilience, economic vitality, and sustainable development. CGMF also issues grants supporting various other causes and organizations that align with Cynthia and George Mitchell’s enduring values and vision.

“CGMF actively amplifies George Mitchell’s vision through our strategic, data-driven grantmaking, helping influence breakthroughs in energy, water conservation, and sustainability science,” stated Katherine Lorenz, President of CGMF. “Our work also sets a model for inclusive environmental policies, embodying George’s drive for transformative change and innovation.”

Mitchell’s impact extends beyond the energy realm, including science, sustainable development, and other philanthropic endeavors.

A few notable examples illustrate Mitchell's commitment: With support from his friend Stephen Hawking, he established the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University and made significant gifts to projects like the Giant Magellan Telescope and the McDonald Observatory. He also established The Woodlands, a master-planned community that championed environmental consciousness and sustainable living, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2024.

“George Mitchell’s story was quintessentially American,” said C. Grant Mitchell, the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation’s board chair. “The child of humble immigrants, he achieved remarkable success during his lifetime, and his values continue to guide our pursuit to foster a more just and sustainable world.”

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For more information
Brett Holmes
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