Meet Lauren Ames

Lauren Ames in Vail House.

Lauren Ames in Vail House.

After living in Georgia, Maryland and West Virginia, relocating to Troy and the wider Hudson River Valley is a homecoming of sorts for Lauren Ames, who grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, and attended Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville.

“Chris and I have fallen in love with Troy and Albany,” she said, “and it’s nice to see how much our students get out and take advantage of all Troy and Albany have to offer. Living in downtown Troy means we can walk to restaurants, concerts, the farmers market and campus events, which is what city and campus living should be all about. And I enjoy spending my mornings with students working out in the McKinstry fitness center.”

An interior designer, former teacher and editor, Lauren has been married to Christopher Ames for 24 years. The couple met through friends in Atlanta, where Lauren earned a Master of Arts in Teaching at Agnes Scott College after working in journalism.

Lauren’s experience as a student-teacher – and the difference she made for a teenage refugee from the Bosnian war – is the subject of episode 504 of radio program This American Life. The story is told by writer Michael Lewis (author of The Blind Side and Moneyball). “It’s a very funny and moving story, but it explains why my teaching career was so short,” said Lauren. “The story also has a lot to say about how education creates opportunity, and that’s something that Chris and I believe in and see in so many ways in our work in higher education.”

Listen to Lauren Ames on This American Life.

Lauren’s father, Lee Payne, was a well-known industrial designer who created products ranging from electronic football games to furniture, packaging, signage and corporate identities. Both her father and mother, Jennie, a talented painter, encouraged Lauren to pursue design or architecture. “Like most teenagers, I rebelled,” she said. “Eventually, I realized how right they had been. They knew me better than anyone.” As an interior designer, Lauren continues to be inspired by her parents’ “impeccable eye for balance, scale and color, and a ‘less is more’ sense of style.”

“I am looking forward to assisting with any renovation projects that Sage has planned,” she said. “I also plan to spend my time on fundraising and assisting with admissions, particularly in the Westchester County area in which I grew up.”