United Way of Greater Nashville Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Service to Community

Sep 16, 2022 | News

More Than 400 Guests Gathered for Evening of Celebration

United Way of Greater Nashville celebrated 100 years of service with a cocktail reception at Saint Elle on Thursday, thanks to support from Regions Bank.

More than 400 guests, including nonprofit agency providers, corporate partners, volunteers, donors and government leaders, gathered to reflect on the work of the last 100 years and envision the next 100.
Guests enjoyed an evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a gallery showing of United We Win: Faces of Our Community, a portrait and storytelling series.

United Way began in Nashville in 1922 as the Community Chest, a small group providing support as Nashville rebuilt from World War I. In the ’40s, companies invited the organization into their workplaces for annual campaigns to fund nonprofits on the frontlines providing relief programs. The organization evolved from a vehicle for coordinated fundraising and allocations to its present-day model: a multi-faceted organization working with hundreds of partner agencies to solve the region’s most pressing health and human service issues. Fundraising efforts were revolutionized in the ‘80s, thanks to Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr., who gathered 27 Nashville visionaries to found the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, a now-global giving society that has invested more than $10 billion in the work of United Ways worldwide. As United Way grew, its name changed from United Way of Middle Tennessee to Metropolitan Nashville and now Greater Nashville.

“As we’ve expanded our service area and partners, our mission has always remained unchanged: to unite the community and mobilize resources so that every child, individual and family thrives,” said Brian Hassett, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Nashville. “Thanks to our many supporters for being a part of our mission. We are grateful for the time, money and partnership our neighbors have given the past 100 years. We can’t wait to see what we can do together for the next 100.”

“This year has given us the time and the opportunity to think about all the people who have been helped and the lives that have been changed over the past century by United Way. And the incredibly kind and generous people who make it all possible,” said John Crosslin, 2022 board chair.

Congratulations poured in from the community throughout the week, with local mayors and state and local lawmakers issuing proclamations and resolutions of support and the lighting of the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge in United Way colors. To learn how you can be a part of the next 100 years, visit unitedwaygreaternashville.org/100-years.