C.S. Mott Community Center

Charles Stewart Mott

COE

Charles Stewart Mott is said to be a man of vision who led with his heart. He is most notably known for the established the C.S. Mott Foundation in 1926, as a response to his deep concern about the welfare of Flint, Michigan, as well as his abiding affection for his adopted community.

An automotive pioneer, Mr. Mott was an original partner in the creation of the General Motors Corporation, founded in Flint in 1908. As one of the city's leading industrialists, Mr. Mott was elected mayor, serving three terms (1912–13, 1918) during periods of overwhelming and turbulent growth in the city. As mayor he was responsible for instituting fair property assessments, orderly accounting audits, health and safety ordinances, building codes and a house numbering system.

As a private citizen, Mr. Mott founded a camp, as well as medical and dental clinics for Flint's children, and helped establish a number of nonprofit organizations that still exist today, including the Whaley Children's Center, the Boy Scouts and the YMCA.

A profoundly practical individual, Mr. Mott created C.S. Mott Foundation as an organized method of responding to the increasing needs of Flint's growing population. In 1935, in partnership with the Flint Community Schools, the Foundation became a major factor in the life of the city through school-based educational and recreational activities. This partnership ultimately developed into a nationwide community education movement.

From its earliest origins, the Foundation's major concern has been the well-being of communities and all that they encompass individuals, families, neighborhoods and civic organizations. Today, this interest continues to play out through grantmaking in Flint as well as communities far beyond the Foundation's home city.

-Adapted from Mott Foundation, Mott.org

Ernest O. Melby