Evelyn Tennyson Openhym was a Life Trustee and a longtime benefactor of Alfred University. More than that, she was a friend and supporter of this University in ways which went far beyond monetary gifts.
Mrs. Openhym was born in Plainfield, N.J., and was graduated from Alfred University in 1924 with a degree in ceramic art. She traced the roots of her long association with our University before the Civil War. Mrs. Openhym strengthened her ties to Alfred when she married, in 1924, George J. Openhym, a ceramist and artist whom she met while she was a student here.
Alfred University conferred upon Mrs. Openhym the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters in 1964; she was the first alumna so honored. She received the Alumni Recognition Award in 1978. As a further honor to one of our most dedicated and loyal alumni, the University, in 1973, named its newest residence hall for her. In the nearly two decades since then, generations of Alfred University students have made "Openhym Hall" their home.
In 1981, Mrs. Openhym presented Alfred University a 7,000-volume library of modern British literature and social history, rich in rare signed first editions. She was an ardent and faithful supporter of other University programs, and a patron of the Summer Chamber Music Institute which brought so many talented musicians to our campus and so much enrichment to our lives.