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Barbara Nagy – Mary Stillman Harkness
September 9, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Mary Stillman Harkness: A presentation on the philanthropist by historian Barbara Nagy
The Friends of Harkness State Park will present an evening program about philanthropist and humanitarian, Mary Stillman Harkness, with local historian, Barbara Nagy, on September 9 starting at 7 pm. The program will be held at Eolia, the early 20th-century summer home of Mary and Edward Harkness, on the grounds of Harkness Memorial State Park.The program is free to members of Friends of Harkness. A donation of $5 is requested from others. Refreshments will follow.
In 2005, Connecticut College magazine published Nagy’s article about Mary Stillman Harkness, the result of extensive research over several years. This has been the most thorough treatment on the life of this little-known philanthropist yet published. Since then, new information has come to light. Mary Harkness had deep roots in both Mystic and Waterford, and her 18th-century ancestors actually owned what today is Harkness State Park. New information about Mary and her family will be reflected in the September 9th program.
Nagy has managed communications and fundraising for a number of local non-profits, after being a newspaper reporter for 23 years. She most recently was a business writer for the Hartford Courant and The Day. She was development manager at the Homeless Hospitality Center in New London until December 2018, and she also oversaw programming, communication and site development of the historic Hempsted Houses in New London for Connecticut Landmarks from 2013-2015.
Nagy became intensely interested in Mary Stillman Harkness while working on a number of history projects in the communications office at Connecticut College. Harkness was a major contributor to the college before her death in 1950.
Barb Nagy serves on the Groton Library Board and the Groton Education Foundation. In 2014 she managed an Electric Boat oral history project funded by a Connecticut Humanities grant that was awarded to the Groton Public Library. The project resulted in an exhibit, discussion and archives at the library.
Refreshments to follow