Education Center in Honor of Bliss ’59 – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Education Center in Honor of Bliss ’59

The Prue Bliss Education Center — named for the late Prudence Amanda Anderson Bliss ’59 — was dedicated in Weston, Conn., on Friday, Nov. 28.

The center, which is part of the Weston Historical Society, houses the records, photos, deeds, costumes, newspaper clippings, catalogs, and other ephemera in a new, climate controlled vault, all of which will offer new opportunities for students to research the town’s history. The center was established through donations by the Bliss family to memorialize Bliss, who graduated from William Smith College with a degree in mathematics.

After she graduated, Bliss taught computer programing and systems analysis at IBM, where she met her husband, Sherwood (“Woody”). In 1974, the couple moved with their family from Amherst, N.Y., to Weston.

Bliss, who was a member of Mensa, had a wide variety of personal and professional interests, working as a professional ski instructor, the keyboardist for Norfield Church’s Steeple People, a gardener, and a sailor. She was active in the PTO and the Boosters Club and was a trustee of the Weston Historical Society.

A longtime member of the League of Women Voters, Bliss was deeply invested in local politics, serving on the Parks and Recreation Commission and as a member of the Weston Republican Town Committee, as well as on the boards of Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

The photo above features the ribbon-cutting ceremony of The Prue Bliss Education Center.

About 75 people, including Bliss’s family and local community leaders, gathered at the Historical Society to dedicate the education center, which is the final piece in the Weston Historical Society’s campaign to build the museum on the Coley Homestead. The project broke ground in 2008, aided in part by donations from “founders” like former First Selectman Woody Bliss, whose initial $25,000 donation in 2006 helped kick off construction of the new building.

 

This year, $25,000 donations from each of the three Bliss children (the Barbara Bliss Mahnke family, the David Bliss family, and the Susan Bliss Archibald family), as well as a $10,000 matching donation from the Prue and Woody’s former employer, IBM, brought the project to its conclusion and the education center and archive to fruition.