The Springs Close Foundation, Inc. was established in 1942 by Colonel Elliott White Springs. Colonel Springs was a World War I flying ace and author and succeeded his father, Leroy Springs, as the head of what eventually became Springs Industries. Colonel Springs held a strong belief that his family had an obligation to care for and support the company’s workers, their families and the communities in which they lived. He created the Springs Foundation, Inc. through his personal contributions and estate planning.
Colonel Springs’ wife, Frances Ley Springs, shared his commitment to giving back to the communities that supported the family’s prosperity and she was very active in the work of the Foundation. With her estate, she broadened the geographic range of the family’s philanthropy through the Frances Ley Springs Foundation established in 1968.
After the death of Colonel Springs in 1959, H.W. Close, the Colonel’s son-in-law, became president of Springs Industries and the Springs Foundation, Inc., and also served as the first president of the Frances Ley Springs Foundation. For over 30 years, he provided strong and effective leadership for both Foundations as a director, president and later chairman of the board. He was the first member of the Close family to become a major donor to The Springs Foundation.
In 1983 when Mr. Close died, his wife, Anne Springs Close, daughter of Col. Springs, was named chairman of the board and continues in that capacity today. In 1985, to honor the leadership and generosity of H.W. Close, the Frances Ley Springs Foundation was renamed The Close Foundation.
The Foundations established their first full-time management position in 1972 with Charles Bundy as president. H.W. (Will) Close, Jr. was named president of both Foundations in 1997 and served in that role until 2002. In July 2003, the two organizations merged into a single foundation — The Springs Close Foundation, Inc. Angela McCrae now serves as president. The Springs Close Foundation is led by a 14-member board of directors, a full-time staff of two and two part-time consultants.