5 Questions 4: Mary Kate Barnes

Mary Kate Barnes is about as “Lawrenceville” as you can be without being an actual graduate. She’s the spouse of a member of the Class of 1977, an honorary member of the Classes of 1959 and 1977, and mom to Lawrentians in the Classes of 2011, 2013, and 2019. How has this unique view prepared her for her job as Lawrenceville’s Assistant Head Master and Director of Advancement? Find out in this week’s 5Q4, our chance to ask Lawrenceville community members – you guessed it - five (sometimes fun, sometimes serious) questions.

What did you learn as a Lawrenceville parent that's helped you as the School's Assistant Head Master and Director of Advancement?
I am always amazed by the talent of our faculty. I'd always "known" this, but until I experienced it first-hand as a Lawrenceville parent, I didn't really understand the impact the faculty’s teaching and expertise would have on my daughters, around the Harkness Table, on the playing fields, and in their Houses. Indeed, they saw particular threads of gold in my children that I was too close to discern.
If you could take any Lawrenceville class, what would it be?
I would love to take Poetry with Katey O'Malley H’07 or Lincoln with Regan Kerney H’49 ’95 ’98 ’03 ’11. There are so many Harkness Table discussions I'd like to join, but these two are of great interest to me. It's fair to say I don't read much poetry and I love all things Lincoln; I'm sure I'd emerge from those classrooms with a greater appreciation for both topics.
You work with Lawrenceville alumni of all ages. What do you think they have in common?
Across the spectrum, I've found that Lawrenceville alumni universally share a love for their Circle or Crescent House. TJ's is a close second!
If you could meet any Lawrentian from the past, who would it be?
I would love to meet Head Master Emeritus Allan Heely H’97 ’27 and his wife Pattie H’55. Pattie’s kindnesses and graciousness are fondly remembered by all who attended Lawrenceville while she lived in Foundation House. I'd also like to speak with Allan about his prescient decision to bring Harkness tables to Lawrenceville.
What should every Lawrentian do before graduating?
Every Lawrentian should go for a walk around our beautiful campus at dawn on an early May morning. Lawrenceville is astonishingly lovely in the springtime.
For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.

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Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose.  Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.