Alan H. Nichols, JD, DS (Hon)



Who was Gloria Ewald and

Why The Ewald Foundation?


Gloria Ewald was my client. One day she called to tell me she wanted me, as her attorney, to help her plan her estate and draft a will. As we worked on what she wanted accomplished, she reminded me that she had spent her working life teaching at the elementary school level. She had found, from her own experience in public schools, that talent contests were great motivators of young people and fun for everyone.


Unmarried and without children, it was important to her that her property be used to continue her life’s work in education. For that reason she wanted the bulk of her estate to be used to sponsor “talent” competitions for elementary school students in San Francisco. She sought to create a special opportunity for those students who wanted to succeed and had both an interest in and an aptitude for performance, whether it was for a professional career, for personal enrichment, recognition, or just for the joy of accomplishment.


I suggested that she sponsor some events during her life, or if she did not feel she was able to do that, to specify more exactly what she had in mind. Because of illness, she never had the opportunity to complete her plans in detail. It was left up to the people who supervise the Ewald Foundation to put her dreams into practice.


George Newman, a loyal friend during her lifetime, gave form to her hopes after her death. He agreed to become chairman of the Ewald Foundation. Under his leadership and that of the Board of Trustees, the Ewald Foundation has done much to encourage elementary school children to realize their own dreams and aspirations.


Since its founding, the Foundation has sponsored musical contest awards in each of San Francisco’s public elementary schools. The deserving winners have been loaned “Ewald Musical Instruments” for a year in order to develop their talents. Thousands of clarinets, violins, flutes, trumpets and CD players have been awarded. The schools have provided the instruction. The Foundation’s support has filled a desperately needed gap in the school district’s music program. To promote interest in music and participation in the contests, the Foundation provides the school district every year with one song flute for every student in the third and fourth grades.


The purpose of the Ewald Foundation Awards publications are to honor the young people in San Francisco’s public school system who have participated in the Ewald Foundation program in instrumental music, art and writing and to recognize the San Francisco Unified School District. We have combined our private and public resources in a joint venture for the benefit of the young people in our City.