Remembering Margaret Larsen, our school's wonderful friend
Dear TGS Families,
Last Friday night, October 28, 2022, The Gregory School lost a bright, enthusiastic, and generous member of our community. Margaret Adams Larsen was chair of the search committee that hired me as head of school, 10 years ago next week. She also became for me, over the ensuing decade, the dearest of friends. Margaret held confidences tight, continually looked on the bright side, and always peppered our conversations with laughter and good humor. My ability to confide in her and seek her wise counsel was an invaluable and rare gift.
As an alumna parent to Olivia (2013), member of our board of trustees, board secretary, board president, and, after all that, an honorary trustee for another six years, Margaret was an active, unwavering supporter of all things Gregory School. She and her husband George even traveled to Italy with Jim Carlson and Jeff Clashman during spring break, 2013!
How lucky we were that, upon completion of her time on the board, Margaret agreed to take leadership of our 40th anniversary celebration, an event over two years in planning. Her dedication resulted in our beautiful Ruby Jubilee last April and the most successful annual fund campaign in years. To say that Margaret was energetic and brilliant would be an understatement.
Margaret was known in Tucson both for her acumen in commercial real estate–she and George are the “Larsen” in Larsen Baker–and for her passion for making Tucson a better place through her charity work. In addition to her allegiance to The Gregory School, Margaret was characteristically active in more organizations benefiting the Tucson community than I can name, including her utmost devotion to Angel Charity for Children, where she held a leadership role, working to raise millions of dollars to benefit Tucson’s children in need.
The photo accompanying this message reminds me of when I had major ear surgery the summer after my first year as head. As the fall semester approached, I was still pretty wobbly, and as a result, I was a little worried about my first faculty retreat as head of school, to be held at the Arizona Inn. Margaret insisted that she would be there for the day to cheer me on and to support the school: yet another perfect instance of Margaret devoting time and energy to cheer for TGS.
I cannot improve upon the words of author and Gregory School trustee Dr. Jennifer Carrell, who wrote, “Margaret was all grace and laughter and steel. I will miss her, and TGS has lost a staunch friend.” We send our deepest condolences to Olivia and George as we mourn, remember, and dedicate ourselves to being a positive and vibrant force in the world, just as our wonderful friend Margaret would want us to be.
Best wishes for a peaceful weekend,
Julie A. Sherrill, Ph.D.
Head of School
"The Gregory School is a place that is transforming learning and transforming students' lives. Gregory students lead institutions; they found movements; they invent technology; they run cities. Students leave TGS with a sense of agency; they believe they can change the world for the better and it is our aim to ensure we give them the knowledge, skills, experiences and confidence to do so."