David Perritano
When you hear the name Lawler, it’s usually accompanied by phrases like “new record” and “all-time.” Senior Morgan Lawler currently holds every swim record Academy of the Holy Names has to offer, and it’s provided a clear lane ahead to a bright future. But it’s not just in athletics in which Morgan is excelling, which is why Morgan’s mother, Kristen Hedgeman Lawler, a member of the Class of 1996, couldn’t be prouder, she explained to attendees of AHN’s Fall Open House.
“Alumnae and current students will tell you, without exaggeration, this school community serves as launchpad for academic achievement, professional development, spiritual growth, and a lifelong commitment to service,” says Lawler, the daughter of a 1968 Holy Names graduate and the sister of a 1992 graduate. “That’s my message to you as prospective parents: know it provides a supportive foundation built specifically for your daughter and tailored to her needs as she navigates the challenging roads of adolescence.”
It’s also prepared Morgan and her parents for the next step: college.
While visiting the United States Naval Academy, Morgan attended a formal parade on school grounds – and to her surprise saw an AHN graduate, Midshipman Jessica LaPlante, ’19, leading her squad across the field.
“The Naval Academy is not just another academic institution, but rather a place where leaders are born and are committed to the service of their country,” Lawler says as she listened to a panel of recruiters, educators, and midshipmen. “I promised myself at that moment, when I had a free minute, I would reach out to the administration at Holy Names to let them know I believed had it not been for them, for this place, and all the people who breathe life into its mission, Morgan may have missed this opportunity.”
Lawler credits her daughter’s “pursuit of academic excellence, commitment to self-improvement, dedication to serve,” and “significantly improved level of confidence and self-awareness” to AHN’s nurturing environment.
During the parent panel at Annapolis, Lawler got a text from Morgan, who had the opportunity to sit in on some of the classes she’d be taking. Morgan reassured her mother she felt well-prepared based on her studies at AHN.
“There’s something dynamic about Holy Names and the people in it,” Kristen says. “We need places like this in the world right now. As a mental health care provider, I am very much aware teenagers are facing psychosocial struggles at a rate and intensity not previously experienced. As a community we need to come together to support
our youth, especially young women, and encourage them to follow their dreams
and seek academic and personal achievements while instilling faith, values, self-
advocacy, and leadership skills so they can serve their communities as agents of change and tolerance.”
Morgan has also applied to West Point – military blood runs in the family as her father served in the Marine Corps for 18 years.
Whatever her decision, her family knows she is better prepared having spent her time at Holy Names.
Kristen says, “it is an investment in in her (Morgan’s) life, and a gift that will keep on giving long after her time here at AHN has passed.”