The Community Development Foundation's Articles of Incorporation were formally adopted September 15, 1948, with the signatures of 11 community leaders, including Julius G. Berry, W. E. McClure, L. P. McCarty, Britt A. Rogers, Jr., F. L. Spight, Jr., Robert W. Reed, Jr., R. G. Purnell, L. G. Milam, Jr., Medford Leake, George McClean and E. D. Perkins.
These articles serve as the CDF constitution, defining the responsibilities of the directors, business to be undertaken, and the means by which the shareholders exert control over the board of directors. These articles define CDF's purpose and guide the actions of the organization.
Item number seven of the Articles of Incorporation laid out a vision of what would soon provide for the successful future of Tupelo/Lee County, Mississippi.
7. The purpose for which it is created:
To coordinate, initiate, promote, develop and assist in the financing, management and direction of enterprises leading to the upbuilding of the community, including agriculture, industry, trade, recreation, education, and other matters of civic interest; said Community Development Foundation may own property, real, personal and mixed, may acquire the same by purchase, gift, lease, devise, bequest or otherwise; may lease property, may contract and be contracted with; may employ officers, agents and servants; may create a reserve fund for protection against deficits or losses in future years, which reserve fund, upon dissolution of the corporation shall be first applied to the payment of all outstanding obligations and then shall be considered a trust fund for the benefit of the public in a fifty mile radius of Tupelo, Mississippi, provided however, that none of the powers herein granted shall be valid if in conflict with the constitution and laws of the State of Mississippi.
The Articles of Incorporation were recorded in the Secretary of State's office September 21, 1948.