Moody Foundation

By: Robert E. Baker

Type: General Entry

Published: May 1, 1995

Updated: June 13, 2017

The Moody Foundation was established under a trust indenture dated August 22, 1942, by William Lewis Moody, Jr., and his wife, Libbie Shearn Moody, as a private charitable foundation for the benefit of the people of Texas. After Moody's death his daughter, Mary Moody Northen, was chairman of the board until her death (1986). During the foundation's early years, it contributed largely to local charities. In 1960, when the bulk of Moody's estate was transferred to the corpus of the foundation, it began operating as a major philanthropic organization making grants throughout the state of Texas. The foundation gives grants to qualifying organizations in the areas of education, health, arts and humanities, physical life and social sciences, religion, and community and social services. In recent years, special emphasis has been given to historical restoration, the performing arts, and medical research. Additionally, the Moody Foundation has also begun to identify needs not previously addressed and has initiated projects and programs in response. These foundation-initiated projects include Shearn Moody Plaza, the renovated Santa Fe Railroad Station now being used as an office building for nonprofit organizations in Galveston; the Center for Transportation and Commerce, a "hands-on" museum depicting the role railroads and other forms of transportation played in the development of Galveston; the Transitional Learning Community, a residential treatment facility where persons who have suffered head injuries are assisted in making the transition from traditional therapy programs to a more productive place in society; and the Robert L. Moody Community House, a facility that houses an outpatient recreational program for the handicapped in Galveston County. Since 1969 the foundation has provided two scholarship programs to assist Galveston County students in furthering their education. In 2004 the scholarships program expanded to include two high schools in Dallas, and two more in Austin in 2011. Other projects include the Hope Arena, a therapeutic equestrian center, and the Moody Botanical Gardens. From 1960 through 1984, the foundation committed more than $143 million. By the mid-1980s foundation assets were in excess of $320 million. The foundation expanded their support to include organizations in Galveston, Austin, and Dallas. As of 2016 the Moody Foundation awarded 3,737 grants, held $1 billion in assets, and awarded $5-70 million in grants each year. Past grantees include the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, Gleanings from the Harvest for Galveston, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, and Hill County Ride for AIDS. The Moody Foundation remains under family control and has grown into one of the largest private foundations in Texas. See also HOPE THERAPY AT MOODY GARDENS.

The House of Moody (publication of the Moody Club, Galveston), 1954.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Robert E. Baker, “Moody Foundation,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 01, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

May 1, 1995
June 13, 2017