Hamden Hall Country Day School

Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

Ursula Lawder Remembered

Jodi Amatulli
We thank former faculty member Katharine Harris for remembering her dear friend and Hamden Hall colleague, Ursula Lawder, who passed away peacefully on Jan. 31, 2017. Ursula was 80 and had taught art in our Lower School for many years. Kathie recalls, “When I first came to Hamden Hall, Ursula was one of the first Lower School faculty members I met. She was an informal mentor to me, and I loved the way she interacted with her students and peers. Ursula was the kind of teacher who made every child believe that he or she was an artist—even when they couldn’t draw an exact picture of a tree or the sky. When that happened—and it was often—Ursula always looked beyond the actual drawing and inspired her students to explore the colors and textures of the world around them. Ursula was truly a free spirit and always had the courage to follow her own path. She will be greatly missed.” To honor Ursula’s memory, Kathie has made a gift to Hamden Hall’s Theater Department. Kathie says that Ursula would have been “overjoyed with pride” to see a recent performance by her granddaughter, Hamden Hall junior Sophia Lawder-Gill, in the Upper School musical, Grease. Sophia was a standout in her role of Rizzo—the wisecracking leader of the “Pink Ladies” at Rydell High. Sophia is the daughter of Hamden Hall alumna Katy Lawder, Class of 1978, and niece of Cynthia Lawder, Class of 1980. Both Katy and Cynthia were Hamden Hall lifers. Thank you again to Kathie Harris for remembering Ursula. Enjoy the yearbook photos of Ursula in 1979 surrounded by students and another in 1976.
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Hamden Hall Country Day School

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Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.