Kay Hardesty Logan, a longtime supporter of arts and cultural programs at Penn State Behrend, died June 8.
Logan, who began a career in music playing flute for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and later became the principal flutist for the Columbus Symphony, died in Washington, D.C. She exemplified the values that Penn State espouses: a love of learning, an appreciation of culture, a commitment to making a difference, and a generous spirit.
In 1989, Logan established Music at Noon: The Logan Wintergarden Series at Penn State Behrend, offering informal lunchtime performances by professional chamber music ensembles. The programs, which are typically attended by more than 300 people, including students from Diehl Elementary School, are now held in McGarvey Commons to accommodate larger audiences.
The educational component of the performances was important to Logan. Every artist who performs at Music at Noon agrees to provide an in-school residency and workshop at Diehl and to meet with students in an undergraduate General Arts course at Penn State Behrend.
“For children, and even for some adults, ‘chamber music’ is an intimidating set of words,” Logan said in 2015. “We tried to design a program that was user-friendly while exposing different sectors of the population to the music and making them happy about it.”
In 1991, working with Provost and Dean John M. Lilley, Logan pledged to fund the purchase, renovation and furnishing of the former Mack estate on Station Road, to provide a place for students at the college to develop social skills and cultural appreciation in a formal setting. She also donated the grand piano that sits in the home’s parlor.
The home is now known as Logan House, a tribute to her late husband, Harry A. Logan Jr., a former president of United Refining Co., and his family. More than 150 programs are held at Logan House each year.
In addition to performing in Columbus and Chautauqua, Logan taught music at the University of Illinois, Denison University, and the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. Her philanthropy included support of a project in Ecuador that used music instruction and instruments donated by Logan to help children who had been orphaned, abandoned, or disabled. Throughout her life, her primary focus remained music, both as an art and an avenue for communicating with others.