Barbara Hartley Lord ’41, whose compassion, commitment and contributions to community changed the lives of some people and inspired charity in others, was named the 2016 recipient of Foxcroft School’s Distinguished Alumnae Award recently at a special luncheon in Engelhard Gymnasium.
Foxcroft Alumnae Council members Alden Denègre Moylan and Jessica Walker Davis, both members of the Class of 2005, presented the award, calling Lord a role model for her long years of dedicated work on behalf of a variety of medical, educational and civic organizations. In addition to her many achievements, Walker said that Lord’s “understanding heart, personal courage and pure determination to make her community and the world a better place” made her worthy of the award.
Nearly 93, Lord was unable to travel from her home in Southhampton, NY, so the award was accepted on her behalf by daughter Lisa Lord Gillespie ’68, who together with her sister Barbara Lord Edwards ’71 nominated her.
“If Mother were able to be here, she would be thrilled,” said Gillespie. ”We are who we are today because of her and she instilled in us – and in so many others — an understanding heart along with her dedication and courage.
Lord’s history with Foxcroft goes back to the School’s very beginnings when her father, George Hartley, sold Charlotte Haxall Noland the land on which she built Foxcroft. As part of the deal, Miss Charlotte promised to educate his first-born daughter and so Barbara went off to Foxcroft at the age of 14. After graduation and secretarial school, Barbara returned to Foxcroft and served as a housemother and as Miss Charlotte’s personal secretary until she married J. Couper Lord and moved to Buffalo, NY, in 1948.
The time and effort that Lord has volunteered are staggering. During her 30 years raising her four children, she served on the Board of the Buffalo General Hospital and Elmwood Franklin School, was President of the Garret Club for Women in Buffalo, and spent hours running the Children’s Hospital gift cart and working with Goodwill.
After moving to Long Island, she was president of the Southampton Nursing Home for an astonishing 25 years. She also served as an executive board member of the Village Improvement Association of Southampton, president of the local Garden Club, and a trustee of St. Andrews Dune Church, whose Altar Guild she headed up until age 90!
Foxcroft’s Distinguished Alumna Award recognizes graduates who have been pioneers and/or made outstanding contributions in their fields; received local or national recognition of achievement; demonstrated dedication and interest in civic affairs and has been a role model. Previous recipients include the late Ambassador to St. James Court Anne Legendre Armstrong ’45, anthropologist Dr. Anna C. Roosevelt ’64, longtime congresswoman Millicent Hammond Fenwick ’25, and White House photographer Diana Hardin Walker ’59.