Worth & Dot Howard Foundation

Alex Anderson with students from Arcadia High School in Phoenix

From the Beginning

It’s a story of generosity with deep Arizona roots. Dora Mae “Dot” Howard met Josiah J. Anderson—who was part of an early Arizona ranching family—when he hired her to teach school in rural Arizona in the 1920s. Dot married Worth Howard, a bookkeeper for a copper mine. They did not have children and lived simply and frugally, buying ATT and Standard Oil of New Jersey on a regular basis. They amassed a fortune, but spent very little.

Dot named Josiah’s son John R. Anderson as trustee for her estate after Worth passed away in the 1970s. John’s daughter Alexandra “Alex” Anderson was a friend to Dot and became trustee in 1997 upon the death of her father.

The Philanthropic Plan

When Dot died, $2.5 million went to the Salvation Army and $2.5 million created a foundation called the Worth and Dot Howard Foundation. Dot wanted to create a scholarship fund “to feed the hungry and to feed minds.” The Worth and Dot Howard Foundation became a supporting organization of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and it funds an annual scholarship program. Alex, together with family members and advisors, have the pleasure of annually giving about $100,000 in college scholarships to deserving Arizona youth. The scholarships are renewable annually through graduate school.

The Difference They Make

Alex, a retired guidance counselor, and her team partner with school counselors across the state, alternating schools every year. The counselors identify students in the top 20 percent of their classes to compete for the scholarships, and at least one student from each participating school receives a scholarship. “We’ve touched so many lives. In turn, our Howard Scholars have touched and inspired us by personalizing our relationships. Each year, we are honored to receive invitations to attend their graduations, recitals and weddings,” says Alex, who travels thousands of miles crisscrossing the state every year to meet the students that Worth and Dot Howard support through their legacy gift.

What Inspires You?

Learn more about how the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona can help you make the kind of difference you would like to make.