Arthur and Martha Milot Fund for Community Preparatory School
“Education is one of the most important things we can support. A good education is the root of a successful life,” states Martha Milot.
She became involved with Community Preparatory School while a docent with the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and had the opportunity to give Community Prep students a tour of the RISD Museum and work with them on a mural. “I was very impressed by Dan Corley (head of school) and the kids,” she explains.
This permanent endowment, designated for Community Preparatory School, is the second fund Martha and her husband Arthur have established at the Foundation. The first fund was created in 1990 and is designated for United Way of Rhode Island.
A Rhode Islander, Arthur’s family owned the Paragon Worsted textile mill in Olneyville. He graduated from Moses Brown in 1951 and Harvard College in 1955, then went to work for an investment firm in Boston. When he and his brother learned of a lumber yard in Providence that was for sale, they bought it. Arthur, the company’s president, oversaw Brewster Lumber’s expansion to include an additional yard in Massachusetts and two in Connecticut.
“We were the largest cash and carry (lumber) in New England,” Arthur says of the company which employed more than 300 workers. He sold the business in 1986 and retired.
Martha, a Baltimore native, graduated in 1955 from Randolph-Macon Women’s College in Lynchburg, VA. “A professor said I’d be a very good teacher, and I taught off and on,” she shares. She also managed a former store in the Arcade that was a joint project of RISD, Providence Preservation Society, and Rhode Island Historical Society. The couple has two, now-adult children, Dorsey and Charlie, and a grandson.
In addition to Martha’s involvement with RISD and Community Prep, Arthur served on the boards of United Way, Industrial National Bank (and later Fleet Bank), Jamestown Planning Commission, and The Nature Conservancy.
Of the Rhode Island Foundation, he says, “There is no other organization in Rhode Island that has the reach of the Foundation.”