Toni-Photo for History page


Tribute to former Director of CHF,
deLesseps “Toni” Morrison, Esq.
Photo courtesy of Hugo Rodriguez.

The Cordell Hull Foundation for International Education is dedicated as a living memorial to the work of one of America’s greatest statesmen, the late Cordell Hull.

Biography of Cordell Hullclick here

We support his goal of improving relations between the United States and other countries. Through educational and cultural exchange and innovative programs stressing people-to-people communication, the Foundation has, for over fifty years, actively promoted international peace and understanding. By fostering mutual friendship, respect and cooperation through education, the Foundation has always endeavored to fulfill the needs and true desires of the peoples of the Americas through a variety of cultural and educational exchange programs. The Foundation welcomes support of all who join in the attainment of this goal.


Cordell Hull was a Tennessee native.  The Foundation bearing his name was chartered in 1951 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee by his friends and colleagues. The Cordell Hull Foundation (CHF) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization established for international understanding and peace through educational and cultural exchange.  In 1954, three years later, the Foundation offices moved to New Orleans where it was originally headquartered in the International House.  Two students came to study in the U.S. under the joint sponsorship of CHF through the Institute of International Education in New York.  Mario Bermudez was named Executive Vice President and supervised the Foundation until 1967.  In 1956 Dr. Alton Ochsner was nominated President of the Foundation.  The contract with the International House ended in 1963.

On January 25, 1965, the Executive Secretariat of the Foundation moved to Nashville, Tennessee.  Then in 1967, the Foundation signed a contract with the World Trade Center, which brought it back to New Orleans.  The Foundation’s progress was guided by an international board of outstanding business and civic leaders serving as unpaid Trustees.   In the ’70s, the office was moved for a few years to Tulane University.  In the ’80s the headquarters of the Foundation remained in New Orleans under the leadership of deLesseps “Toni” Morrison until his death in 1996.  The principal office was relocated to New York City when Marianne Mason took over principal leadership of the Foundation.  She was officially elected President in 1999.

From inception, the mission has been to perpetuate and honor the ideals and vision of Cordell Hull, dedicated to furthering peace and understanding among nations. During his twelve year tenure as Secretary of State under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Cordell Hull worked to establish a center where all nations could convene and produce dialogue. Secretary Hull’s vision and perseverance provided a key basis for the establishment of The United Nations and earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1945. Today, relatively  few people are familiar with the accomplishments of Cordell Hull. One of the main goals of the Cordell Hull Foundation is to return his name to deserved prominence. We are proud to bear this distinguished name, and look forward to spreading more information about the philosophy and accomplishments of one of this century’s greatest political leaders. Cordell Hull was a quiet, shy man of vision. The Cordell Hull Foundation will endeavor always to keep his vision alive and vigilant for the causes of peace and freedom.  (For more information about Cordell Hull, please refer to the Biography of Cordell Hull section of this website.)

Charter of the Cordell Hull Foundation

The Charter of Incorporation describes our mission as follows:

“Organized and operated for charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes, including, but not limited to, promoting by educational means the Good Neighbor Policy and peace, trade, and understanding among the peoples of the Western Hemisphere and other parts of the world.”

In accomplishing its purposes the Foundation will endeavor to bring about the elevation of the standards of living throughout the Western Hemisphere and other parts of the World through the furtherance of education of worthy students, teachers, and business people who are or show promise of becoming business, professional, educational, scientific, industrial, religious, cultural, or political leaders.”

The Cordell Hull Foundation was established to further broaden understanding and assist in  development of peaceful prospering relations with other countries and cultures. Ways in which Foundation Trustees accomplish this objective are: to send students or professors from the United States to other Western Hemisphere countries and to other parts of the world to study or teach; to sponsor teacher exchange programs; and to provide for other projects in accordance with the Foundation, as approved by the Board of Trustees. The enumeration of powers in the Charter specify activities which further charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes within the meaning of a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The Foundation is comprised of an Executive Committee, a Nominations Committee, a Grants Committee, a Selection Committee, a Board of Trustees, an International Advisory Board and Educational Advisory Board.

Programs Offered by the Cordell Hull Foundation

Primary programs in existence or development:  

Foreign Teacher Exchange Programs across the U.S. sponsoring teachers from 50 countries 
Language-Immersion Teacher Trainee Program
– Minnesota
Summer Studies Program
– Antigua, Guatemala
Exchange Teacher Technology Training Program
Documentary Film on the Life of Cordell Hull and his envisaged structure of the UN

These programs are briefly described below. One may obtain more details by clicking on their webpages listed on the Navigation Bar on the left side.  Details on the Language-Immersion Teacher Trainee Program may be found on the News and Commentary page.

Teacher Exchange Program

It has been said that the teacher’s influence never ends; it spans the generations. Teacher exchange programs transport that influence over national boundaries. Latin American teachers, selected by screening committees in their respective countries (in addition to Canadian, European, African, Russian and Japanese teachers) are placed with public and private school systems in the U.S. where they are fully competent to teach bi-lingual and second-language programs. Over the past ten years, the number of visiting educators sponsored and facilitated by the Foundation has grown to a yearly average of 100 teachers instructing large numbers of students in U.S. schools under state and local bi-lingual, bi-cultural programs.

All teachers hold valid teaching certificates and have at least three years of teaching experience in their respective countries. The teachers are contracted by the U.S. school systems for a period of one year, extendable to three years. The Cordell Hull Foundation liases with school systems throughout the United States, assisting in transportation, orientation and in-country housing.   Teachers from more than 45 countries on five continents are currently sponsored by CHF.

Students learn the language, history, culture and customs of another land. On returning to their home  countries, teachers take back improved English-language skills, new teaching techniques, and a deeper understanding of our nation and its people. Teachers sponsored by the Cordell Hull Foundation also address civic groups and present cultural programs at festivals.  Several have conducted language classes for adults and businesses.

The program has grown steadily, especially with the influx of children of Hispanic and other ethnicities to U.S. schools and the expansion of bilingual programs in most states to assist in educational and social development. The Foundation looks toward continued expansion in the Teacher Exchange Program throughout other states in the United States which have a mandate for bi-lingual education, as well as other countries of the world who wish to participate.

Teacher Trainee Program

The Cordell Hull Foundation trainee program began in 2003 when CHF recruited, obtained trainee visas, and placed 33 French-speaking trainees from France to participate in four public school French Immersion programs.  CHF was approached to provide this service to find qualified trainees with a background in education training motivated to develop teaching skills for professional careers.

The following school year 2004-05, CHF expanded to recruit trainees from not only France, but also Cameroon and Vietnam for the French program.  The diversity of cultures and backgrounds of the group was designed to match the mix of the student population.  Two of the CHF trainees in this French group were finishing their PhDs, two spoke fluent Japanese, and one fluent Chinese.  All had some command of English before arriving in the U.S.

CHF started a Spanish trainee program for a Spanish-Immersion Public school in 2004, recruiting Spanish trainees from Ecuador.  For school year 2005-7, the Spanish program was expanded to include other South American countries.

The opportunity for prospective second-language teachers to be trained by experiencedFrench-as-second-language or Spanish-as-second-language teachers in the United States also benefits American pupils, who can get to know the French and Spanish culture and speech directly through these native speakers while the participants acquire hands-on experience that would be impossible to obtain while remaining in their native countries.   Trainees are required to make periodic reports to CHF during the year to receive a certificate of completion in May.

CHF’s trainees also benefit from our specialized Technology Training and orientation programs which in 2005 are being delivered by Celine Garner, currently working on her PhD in Instructional Technology.

Summer Studies Program

Antigua, Guatemala – Spanish School San Jose el Viejo

Teachers and students may attend daily or weekly classes to improve speaking and comprehension of verbal and written Spanish, at the Spanish School La Escuela de Espa?ol San Jose el Viejo. The school provides accredited Guatemalan instructors of Spanish who furnish one-on-one personalized teaching. Moreover, instruction takes place in individual casitas onsite and adjacent to the ruins of the San Jos? Basilica amid beautiful gardens surrounded by lush tropical vegetation.

Currently, students attending the Spanish School pay a moderate sum for room and board with a Guatamalan family plus daily one-on-one instruction.  CHF is seeking funding for this program to provide scholarships.  Participants will cover the cost of their own transportation to Guatemala and any side trips or outside activities or entertainment. Sponsored by the Cordell Hull Foundation, in accordance with Exchange Visitor regulations and guidelines, this program represents a practical application of international friendship and cooperation through education.

The Foundation is now seeking funding to offer college students, teachers and business people who have a specific requirement to speak Spanish the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of Hispanic history, culture and peoples while visiting a locale in which they can be totally immersed in the Spanish language. We have sponsored similar educational exchanges with Colombia and Mexico and plan to expand to other Latin American countries.

Currently, we are referring interested parties directly to the San Jose el Viejo website.  The prices are very affordable, the teaching methods effective, and the cultural experience unforgettable.  (For more information, please click on this Summer Studies Program webpage link.)

Documentary Film on Cordell Hull and his goals for UN formation

The overriding goal in the back of Hull’s mind was to prevent World War III.  His efforts to prevent World War II failed, and his support of Wilson’s plan for the League of Nations did not result in forming an international forum for all nations of the world to air and try to resolve their differences by negotiation.  On Sunday, January 9, 2005, the United Nations negotiated the end of the Civil War of two decades in the Sudan.  There has not been a World War III since the formation of the UN sixty years ago.  At this point in history, Cordell Hull’s goals, major and minor, have been achieved.

The planned feature-length documentary film produced by CHF will be based in part on Hull?s 1500-page, two-volume set of memoirs, material from the Tennessee state capitol, Vanderbilt Library, private papers of the Chancellor, Library of Congress and other sources and interviews pertaining to the history of the inception of the United Nations.

Following suitable broadcast exposure, the film would be made available to international education outlets for use by teachers and students via satellite and Internet dissemination, videotapes and DVD.

Our aim is to reeducate Americans as to the relevance of the UN and to underscore that the UN has, at its core, uniquely American principles, standards for ethicality and democratic underpinnings. The United Nations as we know it today took root as a shared vision of Secretary Hull and Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the dark days of World War II.  The story of Secretary Hull as “Father of the United Nations” and the birth of the organization itself are inseparable ? he worked tirelessly toward a vision of peace and comity among nations employing American-inspired notions of democratic process to heal global political divisions.


As a public, 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-sectarian, non-partisan organization, the Cordell Hull Foundation for International Education relies for support on contributions from corporations, individuals and appropriate government agencies with a deep interest in promoting progressive, peaceful relations among countries, focusing on nations of the Americas. For more information on how you can offer your individual, corporate, or grant agency support, please click on this How to Donate link.

Bibliography:  Nobel Peace Prize website; The Memoirs of Cordell Hull, Volumes I & II, 1948, New York: The Macmillan Company; bio of Cordell Hull by Carl Wright; personal interviews by Marianne Mason, CHF President.  Edited by Joseph Scott, CHF Communications Director.