“Treat everyone with dignity and recognize their worth.”

–  Sartain Lanier (1909-1994)

Our Founder,

Sartain Lanier

Born in 1909, Sartain Lanier was a distinguished business leader who made significant contributions to many organizations in his community, particularly in the area of education.

Along with his brothers, he co-founded Atlanta-based apparel company Oxford Industries, as well as Lanier Business Products. Mr. Lanier also served as a director of Standard Brands, Trust Company of Georgia, Genuine Parts Company and Southern Airways.

Mr. Lanier was a longtime trustee of Piedmont Hospital and of his alma mater, Vanderbilt University. He formed a personal foundation in 1963 to invest more effectively in his philanthropic priorities. In 1992, he established the Lanier Scholarships at Vanderbilt, reflecting his belief in the value of education and his eagerness to help young people make the most of their talent and abilities. Mr. Lanier died in 1994 and left most of his estate to the Foundation.

Our History

For decades, the Sartain Lanier Family Foundation has listened to local voices and learned from our partners. Our work has evolved in turn, adapting to the needs and priorities of our city.


Along with his brothers Hicks and Tommy, Sartain Lanier forms the Lanier Brothers Foundation to support their civic and philanthropic interests in the communities where their businesses, Lanier Business Products and Oxford Industries, were active.


Sartain Lanier founds the Oxford Foundation to support causes and organizations that were personally meaningful. 


The Oxford Foundation is renamed the Sartain Lanier Family Foundation and a board of independent trustees is established.


Sartain Lanier establishes the Lanier Scholarships at his alma mater, Vanderbilt University, which continue to be awarded each year to outstanding students for their undergraduate education at Vanderbilt.


Sartain Lanier passes away at the age of 85 and leaves the majority of his estate to the Sartain Lanier Family Foundation. His son, Hicks, becomes Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

2023 and Beyond

The next generation of family members take leadership roles for the Foundation. Guided by Sartain Lanier’s intent, the Board of Trustees adopts a new mission statement and sets strategic funding priorities to improve K-12 education in metro Atlanta.