Our Founder

Learn About Our Founder, Blanche Bryden

Born in 1907, Blanche Bryden and her parents moved from New York to Topeka, Kansas, in 1914 when Blanche was seven years old. In 1938, while in her early 30s, she married James Bryden. Her husband was the chairman and president of Victory Life Insurance Co., a Topeka-based company that was originally founded by his father in 1921.

James and Blanche were known for touching the lives of many through their charitable contributions. Blanche had a sensitivity for the hardships experienced by others. She also had a keen interest in the arts (particularly music), children, health and animal welfare. During her lifetime, Blanche served the public in many ways, including as a:


Board member of the Stormont-Vail Foundation

Trustee of the Washburn Endowment Association

Benefactor of Helping Hands Humane Society

Following her death, the Blanche Bryden Foundation was established in 1991. The Foundation has since provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to various nonprofit organizations in and around the Topeka, Kansas, area.