Long-time supporters of NTID, Joseph and the late Helen Dyer, are deaf college graduates. They completed college in a time when very few deaf people did, and they did so as mainstreamed students without any support or access services.
In 1997, the couple established the Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Endowed Scholarship Fund at NTID. The fund benefits NTID/RIT students in good academic standing. In early 2000, the Dyers pledged $2.5 million to fund construction and development of the Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center at NTID.
"NTID at RIT is of great importance to the deaf community," says Joseph Dyer. "Helen and I wanted to help support NTID, which has made significant contributions to deaf education, technology and the arts."
Mr. Dyer attended the New Jersey Institute of Technology in the 1930s and became an engineer for a pharmaceutical company.
Hailing from Iowa, Mrs. Dyer's father moved to New York City to become an accomplished corporate attorney with many high-level contacts across America. He developed an appreciation for art, which he passed on to his daughter. Mrs. Dyer attended Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, MA., and received her bachelor's degree in sociology from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.
Helen Dyer, 90, of Delray Beach, FL., passed away on Sept. 9, 2001. She was an avid artist who enjoyed oil painting. "We believe the arts are a large component of a well-rounded college education," Helen Dyer said before her death. "Expression through art for deaf people is especially meaningful and beneficial."
Elizabeth W. Williams
The Elizabeth W. Williams Gallery is the main gallery of the Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center, and serves a multitude of functions, including the exhibition of works by various artists, seminars, and hospitality functions for both NTID and RIT.
The gallery was made possible by a $500,000 gift from long-time NTID supporter, the late Elizabeth "Cookie" Williams.
Milton H. and Ray B. Ohringer
The Milton H. and Ray B. Ohringer Gallery is dedicated to improving educational opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing young people, Ray Ohringer funded construction of the Milton H. and Ray B. Ohringer Gallery in the Dyer Arts Center. Ray, who retired from IBM after 34 years, lives in New York, NY and Boca Raton, FL. She and her late husband, Milton, who was a certified public accountant, established The Milton H. and Ray B. Ohringer Endowed Scholarship Fund at NTID.