Paul Chapman was the sole visionary who developed the concept for the Foundation and its awards. He oversaw the actual formation of the Foundation and guided its early development years. Mr. Chapman served as Chairman of the Board for fifteen years, only stepping down when his health required it. Paul’s vision, dedication and leadership is why the Foundation came into existence and grew into the organization it is today. For these reasons, the awards presented by the Foundation are known as The Paul H. Chapman Awards.
An endowment by Zena H. Chapman, mother of Paul Chapman, from the estate funds of her late husband, Judson W. Chapman of Greenville, South Carolina, established the Foundation in 1984. His career in journalism had culminated in his becoming Executive Vice President of the Greenville News-Piedmont Company, a predecessor to Multimedia, Inc. His widow held on to the Multimedia stock during its major growth period. Later in life, as a continuance of their history of philanthropy, she contributed a major portion of the estate to founding the Foundation For Improvement of Justice, Inc.
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of Chapman family members and non-family individuals who have various careers in our justice systems. The Foundation does not seek financial funding support. Moreover, all of the endowment’s earnings are paid out each year in awards. The Board members serve without financial remuneration. Their rewards are much the same as those the recipients have been receiving–the satisfaction of feeling that their efforts are contributing to the improvement of justice.