Former Librarian Bequeaths $2.2 Million to University at Albany Libraries

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 5, 2014) -- The University at Albany has received a $2.2 million gift from the late Alice Hastings Murphy '40 estate to benefit its libraries. The bequest is one of the largest gifts from an individual in the University's history, and the largest in support of the University Libraries.

Alice Hastings Murphy, UAlbany Class of 1940

Alice Hastings Murphy, UAlbany's first director of the University Libraries.

Hastings Murphy was with the University during its transformation from the College for Teachers to the State University of New York at Albany, and was the first person to hold the title of Director of University Libraries. During her tenure, she played an integral role in the massive growth of the library in the 1960s. She retired in 1970 as head librarian at the University but remained involved with a group UAlbany’s Friends of the Libraries, of which she was a founding member.

"This generous gift cannot be counted in dollars and cents," said George R. Hearst III, president of the University at Albany Foundation. "The legacy of Alice Hastings Murphy enriches our campus by advancing the University’s libraries and inspiring students to take their learning and ambition to the next level."

Hastings Murphy, whose parents were on the faculty of the New York State College for Teachers, grew up on what is now UAlbany’s Downtown Campus and earned a bachelor’s degree in library science in 1940 at the College for Teachers, the precursor to the University at Albany. After completing her master’s studies at Columbia University, she returned to Albany in 1948 to join the staff of the University Libraries. She passed away Dec. 31, 2011, in Albany, at the age of 94.

To honor her parents’ memory and their many years of service to the University, Murphy established the Harry and Louise Clement Hastings Fund to support the purchase of literary materials and the preservation of library collections.

“Libraries and information services are a critical component of the infrastructure at a public research university," said UAlbany President Robert J. Jones. “Alice Hastings Murphy’s generous bequest of more than two million dollars will enhance the University Libraries’ capacity to support innovative scholarly research and productive academic inquiry by faculty and students alike.”

The University will name the Library’s Preservation Laboratory in honor of Hastings Murphy’s gift at a fall 2014 event.

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