Francis B. McAllister's Gift of Real Estate
Frances B. McAllister fell in love with Flagstaff while traveling by train from Los Angeles to New York in 1935. She and her husband built a log house just outside of town, which they visited frequently before becoming permanent residents in 1967. Frances immediately dedicated her life to civic pursuits, including training Head Start teachers and serving on a vast array of organizational boards. She was a generous donor to the Flagstaff Community Foundation and to several Northern Arizona nonprofits, including the Museum of Northern Arizona and the Lowell Observatory.
Demonstrating her deep support for education, the environment and community issues, she established the Chair in Community, Culture and the Environment at Northern Arizona University, endowed an annual doctoral research stipend in the NAU History Department and supported the Biology Department in its early years. In 1981, Frances donated a portion of her ranch for what is now The Arboretum at Flagstaff, a 200-acre home to 2,500 species of plants representative of the high-desert Colorado plateau area.
In 2000, Frances established the Flagstaff P-12 Educational Resources Fund, a field of interest fund at the Flagstaff Community Foundation to support educational programs for preschool through 12th-grade students in Flagstaff. She added assets to the fund steadily over the next eight years. Among many generous gifts made upon her passing in 2008 at the age of 97, Frances gifted land valued at $1.85 million to augment this fund—leaving a charitable legacy that will provide for her beloved Flagstaff forever.