The history of the France-Merrick Foundation can be traced back to two men – Jacob France and Robert G. Merrick – who shared a vision of social responsibility, compassion and a desire to make a difference.
Jacob France and Robert G. Merrick, Sr. believed in Baltimore and they cared about its people. Both men were civic-minded throughout their careers, serving on numerous boards in the city and the region and working to address the social needs of the community. They believed it was their responsibility to use their resources to advance the common good.
Jacob France (1882 – 1962) was a prominent Baltimore attorney, who received his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. He was Chairman of the Mid- Atlantic Oil Company and a founder of The Equitable Trust Company. He was married in 1914 to Annita Applegarth (1881 – 1981) of Dorchester County, Maryland. In 1959, Jacob France established the Jacob and Annita France Foundation. Mr. France served as the President of the Jacob and Annita France Foundation and was subsequently succeeded by his wife. Robert G. Merrick, Sr. was elected to the Jacob and Annita France Foundation Board in 1962, and ultimately became the President of the Foundation in 1981.
Robert G. Merrick, Sr. (1895 – 1986) attended the Boys’ Latin School of Maryland and received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. He was President of the Maryland Title Securities Company until he was elected President of The Equitable Trust Company, and then Chairman of the Board. He was married in 1923 to Anne McEvoy (1895 – 1975) of Baltimore. They had two children, Anne McEvoy Merrick “Nan” Pinkard and Robert G. Merrick, Jr. In 1962, Robert G. Merrick, Sr. established the Robert G. and Anne M. Merrick Foundation. Mr. Merrick served as the President of the Robert G. and Anne M. Merrick Foundation and was subsequently succeeded by his son, Robert G. Merrick, Jr. Upon his death, additional funds were bequeathed to the Foundation, and Nan Pinkard became President of the Robert G. and Anne M. Merrick Foundation.
In 1998, the Jacob and Annita France Foundation and the Robert G. and Anne M. Merrick Foundation were merged into the France-Merrick Foundation.
Today with an annual grant budget of approximately $10M, the France-Merrick Foundation is one of Maryland’s largest private foundations. While much has changed in its fifty-plus year history, the France-Merrick Foundation remains committed to making a difference in the Greater Baltimore region through its grant making.