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Ada County Silver and Gold Celebration Honors Leah L. Frye and Alice Hennessey

January 25, 2018

The University of Idaho Alumni Association will honor two individuals for their achievements and service to the university at the Ada County Silver and Gold Celebration on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. The event is 6-8 p.m. at the Boise Centre, 850 West Front Street, in Boise.

Leah Frye ‘79 will receive the Silver and Gold Award for her record of achievement and service in chemistry. Frye earned her bachelor's in chemistry from U of I and went on to complete her doctorate in organic chemistry at Johns Hopkins University. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and went on to receive tenure at the Rensselaer Polytechnic University before joining the private sector as a principal scientist with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. Frye currently serves as the vice president of the Drug Discovery Group at Schrödinger, a company that develops chemical simulation software for use in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and materials research.

Frye is the inventor on 18 U.S. patents and has an extensive record of research and publications. She actively promotes the field of chemistry and has presented or served on panels for the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, the Puget Sound Women Chemists Retreat and the inaugural Drug Discovery Re-Invented Conference.

Frye and her husband, U of I alumnus Daniel Frye, are active supporters of the university and have established a scholarship endowment that benefits U of I students majoring in chemistry and physics.

Alice Hennessey will receive honorary alumni recognition for serving the University of Idaho and alumni with great distinction.

Hennessey was born and raised in Massachusetts but grew to love the West while a student at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she graduated cum laude in history and general studies. After a year of graduate work at the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration, Hennessy came to Boise in 1958 to become secretary to the CEO of the fledgling Boise Cascade Corporation. She became an officer of the company in 1971 and retired in 1996 as senior vice president with responsibility for human resources and corporate relations. During her time with Boise Cascade, she was an active leader in the state and a strong voice for higher education and the U of I. Throughout her career she has hired and mentored many Vandal graduates and sent her children and grandchildren to U of I.

In 1996, Hennessey began her eight-year tenure as the president and CEO of the Idaho Community Foundation, a statewide nonprofit she helped found that is dedicated to enriching the quality of life throughout Idaho. She then served as the planned giving consultant to the St. Luke’s Health Foundation and currently serves as a member of the St. Luke’s Treasure Valley Community Board.

Hennessey was a board member at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center for 25 years and was one of the original board members when the St. Luke’s Health System was formed, where she served for six years. She is the founding member of the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation, serves on the Advisory board of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights and previously served on the boards of the Idaho Humanities Council, Boise Art Museum, Junior Achievement, the advisory board of Ballet Idaho, has served on the Idaho Judicial Council, the Legislative Compensation Commission and as a member of the University of Idaho Foundation. She has been chair of the Boise Area Chamber of Commerce and campaign chair and chair of the board for United Way of Ada County. Alice and her husband Tom created the Hennessey Family Centennial Endowment to benefit Vandal athletics.

For more information about this event, contact the UI Boise Office of Alumni Relations at 208-364-4030. Those wishing to attend should RSVP at Tickets are $25 per person prior to the event and $30 per person at the door.

Media Contact:
Whitney Schroeder
Marketing and Communications Manager, Office of Alumni Relations

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at