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Lauren Anderson ’63 Receives Woodstock Academy’s Distinguished Alumni Award

Lauren Anderson ’63 Receives Woodstock Academy’s Distinguished Alumni Award

On Saturday, October 15, during Alumni Weekend, Woodstock Academy alumni, staff, and students gathered in Founder’s Court to honor Lauren Anderson ’63, the 2022 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to Society. 

This award is given to an alumna/us that has shown an exceptional measure of service to The Woodstock Academy or to society. Awardees have made significant contributions benefitting their community, state, nation, world, or The Academy. Anderson’s contributions and leadership as a pioneer for the advancement of Title IX, particularly for equality for women in sports, have made her an outstanding candidate for this award, and have inked her in athletic history at The Woodstock Academy and across Connecticut and Rhode Island. 

At the ceremony, the opening remarks of the evening began with Rick Torgeson, whom Anderson has worked closely with throughout community-related projects and organizations. In his comments, he highlighted her service and commitment to the community at large, “making her presence known in soft ways.” Associate Head of School Holly Singleton ’86 followed, honoring Anderson with a moving outline of her athletic and professional achievements and impact on the world of women’s sports. Head of School Chris Sandford closed the program and presented Anderson with her award. 

When Anderson was a Woodstock Academy student, the athletic opportunities for girls were limited to softball, cheer, and basketball. In her senior year at The Academy, she was named outstanding female athlete. Upon graduating, Anderson became a five-sport collegiate athlete, competing on the field hockey, basketball, volleyball, softball, and track & field teams during her undergraduate years at Southern Connecticut State University.

“We talk about graduates from The Academy going on to change the world and Lauren quite literally accomplished that. She has made our world a better place and serves as an inspiration for us all. I could not be prouder to recognize Lauren with the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to Society,” said Sandford.

Where Anderson saw athletic limitations and discouragement for female athletes, she fought to create opportunities. In 1972, Anderson started the girls indoor and outdoor track teams at North Haven High School, and in 1975, became the first female scholastic athletic director in the State of Connecticut. In 1977, she launched the women’s cross country program at the University of Rhode Island, and the track & field program in 1978. She then went on to serve as the Senior Associate Director of Athletics in 2003 until she retired in 2008. 

Throughout her career in athletic administration, Anderson continued to advocate for athletic equity and presented to the State of Rhode Island that there was a need to support full-time head coaching positions for women’s programs as they were only part-time, compared to men’s programs, which had full-time coaching positions. A year later, permanent full-time coaching positions for women’s athletic programs were approved by the State.

“When I think of Lauren, I think the greatest accomplishments of her life are not her personal athletic accolades, but rather the use of her athletic prowess and the knowledge to lift up other future athletes,” said Singleton.

Anderson has been honored with numerous achievement awards and inducted into 10 Athletic Halls of Fame, including the inaugural Woodstock Academy Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. Anderson’s legacy also includes her strong commitment to diversity and equality, and the transformational opportunities she has created in women's athletics at The Woodstock Academy and beyond. Her portrait will be displayed in the Grube Galerie, a hallway at The Academy dedicated to distinguished alumni.

“To the Alumni Advisory Board and Brad Favreau who selected me for this award, I thank you. This is quite an honor, tremendously. I credit many, many people for motivating me to do what I have done, and what I hope to continue to do. Everyone has given me unwavering support and it has really meant a lot to me,” said Anderson. 

On Thursday, October 20, 2022, Anderson will be inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame at the 29th Annual Induction Ceremony and Celebration of Women in Sports. The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame honors the achievements of women by celebrating their legacies and telling their powerful stories, inspiring women and girls to realize their own limitless potential.

The Woodstock Academy is an independent, day and boarding, co-educational, college preparatory high school for grades 9–12 and postgraduates located in Woodstock, CT. The mission of The Woodstock Academy is to prepare all students for a lifetime of learning by providing academic rigor, a safe environment, and a diversity of educational experiences which will foster a sense of respect for self and others, and will encourage active investment in family, school, community, and the world.