October 24: Happy Birthday! Hattie Maria Corrin Strong


Hattie Maria Corrin Strong was born on this day in 1864, in Connecticut, to Henry and Maria Belknap Corrin.

She attended private schools in New York City.

She was married first to Lester B. Lockwood, and second to Henry Alvah Strong in 1905.  Mr. Strong was a partner with George Eastman in the manufacture of photographic plates, film and cameras.  The company was first called Strong and Eastman, but the last name was Eastman-Kodak.  Strong was the first president of the company, and remained president until his death in 1919.  He was also involved in other businesses, and was one of Rochester, New York’s most prominent citizens.  He amassed a large fortune from which he made many donations for halls and auditoriums at several colleges.  At his death he left an estate valued at more than $20 million.

His widow, Hattie, spent the remainder of her life in philanthropic activities involving the family fortune.  She was particularly interested in the education of young men and women, and established the Hattie M. Strong Foundation that provided more than 3,300 college scholarships.

She also provided funds for college buildings.  Throughout the country there are dorms, dining halls, and other buildings provided by and named for Mrs. Strong and the Strong family.

Mrs. Strong visited Salem College in 1936, and felt a connection to the Moravian Church and the college.  She donated money for a new dining hall, named Corrin Refectory, and a dormitory.  She asked that arrangements be made so that she could live on the ground floor of the dormitory for the remainder of her life.  And, she joined Home Moravian Church in 1941.

She was a member of the boards of directors for many colleges and universities, and was honored for her philanthropy.

She passed away in Winston-Salem in 1950.  She was buried in the Strong family vault in Rochester.

Mrs. Strong is shown in the photo above at the dedication of the Corrin Refectory in 1941.

Photo courtesy of Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection.

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