In 1963, my local newspaper announced the intentions of “New York philanthropist” Arthur A. Houghton to establish the Wye Institute, a forward thinking organization with a primary mandate to promote the “progress of the Eastern Shore.”

Arthur Houghton, the president of Steuben Glass, was also, among his many civic accomplishments, chairman of both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Philharmonic, and he helped create Lincoln Center, the internationally renown home of not only the philharmonic, but also the New York Opera and the New York Ballet.

Houghton constructed The Wye Institute on his 750 acre estate, Wye River Plantation, which was once the home of one of Maryland’s signers of the Declaration of Independence, and the third governor of Maryland, William Paca.

Houghton enlarged the property to 1,100 acres by purchasing an adjacent tract of land, and in 1979, he donated the entire enterprise to the Aspen Institute, an international public policy study…

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