Building more than bricks and mortar

The Higley Family

Service to the Cleveland community is a family tradition for the Higley’s. The family’s impact is visible in the many industrial and institutional buildings designed and constructed by the Albert M. Higley Co. over the past 90 years, but their behind-the-scenes commitment to supporting basic needs in Cleveland has also changed the city for the better.

Did You Know?

Over the span of two decades, the Higley Fund of the Cleveland Foundation has granted more than $8.1 million to more than 175 organizations throughout Greater Cleveland.

The Higley family’s service to the Cleveland community spans three generations, beginning with Mildred and Albert M. Higley Sr. In 1925, Ab founded the Albert M. Higley Co. and led the construction company for more than 30 years. At the helm of his company, Ab transformed Northeast Ohio’s physical landscape. At home, he and his wife Mildred, a social worker, taught their children the importance of giving back to the community. Ab served on a number of civic and community boards in Greater Cleveland including the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Shaker Heights School Board.

Ab and Mildred’s son, “Al” followed his father’s example. Al served as chairman and CEO of the Albert M. Higley Co. from 1971 to 1998 and was also an active leader in the community. Al served on the board of the Red Cross, the Rotary Club of Cleveland, The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland, Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services and United Way of Greater Cleveland.

In 1994, Al and his wife Beverly established the Higley Fund of the Cleveland Foundation. The fund, a supporting organization of the foundation, focuses on serving basic needs – food, shelter, clothing and medical care – through its support of social service organizations in Greater Cleveland. The fund also supports a scholarship program through the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. “Al and Beverly’s giving was guided by their humility, compassion and unwavering belief in what is right. The Higley Fund ensures that this legacy of kindness and humanity lives on forever, and continues to make a difference for so many in our community,” said Ronn Richard, president and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation.

Al and Beverly were intimately involved in their fund’s grantmaking activities for many years. Al passed in 2012, and Beverly in 2014. Two of their children, Bruce G. Higley and Sharon Higley Watts, represent the next generation of family leadership as members of The Higley Fund board. In 2015, the foundation received a $23 million estate gift from Al and Beverly, making the Higley Fund the single largest supporting organization of the Cleveland Foundation. Also in 2015, the Higley Fund made a $1 million gift toward the renovation of Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, and established the Albert and Beverly Higley Research Commons. These landmark gifts ensure the Higley family’s mission to serve will continue to impact the Greater Cleveland community for many generations to come.

Albert and Beverly Higley PRIMARY_Cropped

Albert Higley, Jr. and Beverly


The Higley family has been giving back to Cleveland for generations.

NEW Higley Tertiary

Bruce G. Higley and Sharon Higley Watts with the Higley Scholars at the Mandel School of Applies Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University.

Awards & Recognition

In 2015, Al and Beverly’s $23 million estate gift was announced at the Cleveland Foundation’s annual meeting presented by KeyBank at Severance Hall.