About the Colby Foundation


The Lillian L. Colby Charitable Foundation strives to impact the greater Chattanooga region by advancing education and economic mobility, with special emphasis on the marginalized. The Colby Foundation will accomplish this work through collaborative, proactive grantmaking.


The mission of the Lillian L. Colby Charitable Foundation is to strengthen the greater Chattanooga region by supporting effective, well-led organizations and innovative programs that enhance opportunities for underserved children and adults. Special consideration will be provided to the organizations named in Ms. Colby’s Trust Agreement.

About Lillian Colby

Born in 1920 to a farming family in Eagleville, Tennessee, Lillian Colby and her husband, Fred Colby of Signal Mountain, Tennessee, worked with youth and with agricultural development throughout Tennessee. Their permanent home was on Signal Mountain, close to Chattanooga, where after graduating from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Lillian Colby spent the majority of her professional career teaching at Thrasher Elementary School. She was passionate about folk and classical music, enjoyed traveling the globe, and was a strong supporter of Chattanooga’s Sister City program with Wuxi, China, even sponsoring a Chinese violinist’s education at UTC. Lillian Colby was an avid animal lover and an active member of Zeta Tao Alpha sorority, Daughters of the American Revolution, and a number of local clubs and associations. Mrs. Colby passed away on December 23, 2010.

Board of Directors

  • Dana Perry, President
  • Bettyelynn Smith, President-Elect
  • Marie Webb
  • Clay Crumbliss
  • Henrietta Morris
  • Dwayne Marshall
  • Diana Summerlin
  • Patti Lindblad, Secretary, ex-oficio