St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's 2018 Convocation opened more than a new school year. On the first day of school, a renovation of the school's Gordon Chapel was unveiled. The last space in the school to be updated, Gordon Chapel’s transformation completed the modernization of the 51-year-old building.
Head of School Virginia Connor honored two women whose steadfast leadership and architectural vision were instrumental in the renovations.
Barbara Tracy, vice president of the Board of Trustees, has overseen the school’s entire Master Building Plan as chair of the Facilities committee for nearly three decades.
“Mrs. Tracy’s work on these projects has been defined by her steadfast support, dogged determination, and insistent attention to all of the details, both grand and mundane, that have made this magnificent facility a place of inspiration and aspiration,” said Ms. Connor.
She also recognized architect Mary Burnham FAIA, founding partner of the firm Murphy Burnham & Buttrick and the principal author of the school's transformation, which began in 2000 with the C.V. Starr Library and Learning Center.
“Mary has believed in this school from the first moment we met her in 1999,” said Ms. Connor. “Beginning in the library, the school’s intellectual center, and at last in our chapel, our spiritual home, Mary helped us rebuild our facility and our very identity as an academic institution. Thanks to her work, when you walk into our school, you feel the joy of childhood.”
Ms. Connor also recognized Tim Ramsayer P '24 for handiwork of a different kind. Mr. Ramsayer spent his summer vacation and a host of weekends refinishing every wooden table in the seventh floor art studios. “Tim, when your daughter and all of her friends and fellow students go to work on these polished surfaces, every pencil, crayon, and brush stroke will be inspired by your efforts,” she said.