We’re sad to share news of the passing of Honorary Trustee and devoted alumnus Peter Ward ’43, who died on Sunday, June 3, 2018, at the age of 93.
Mr. Ward actively served on the Board of Trustees for 50 years, acting as its chair from 1972 to 1978 and as an Honorary Trustee since being elected in 1980. He chaired the board during the school’s transition to coeducation and also helped establish a planned giving effort at the school.
“Peter was always a consummate gentleman,” former Chair of the Board of Trustees Francis ‘Skip’ Branin ’65 said. “He served St. George's for over six decades and his support of our School over the years has been truly inspirational. He will be greatly missed on the Hilltop.”
Having served as class agent, vice president of the alumni association, class correspondent, and chair of the Trustee Memorial Committee, Mr. Ward received the Howard B. Dean Award in 2004 for his devotion and service to SG.
Former Chair of the Board of Trustees Betsy Michel P’85, ’89, who served from 1989-1999, said all of the board chairs had a special camaraderie.
“We could share experiences, ask advice, talk through issues – all in a way that was different from conversations we might have with others,” she said. “Early on, Peter was there to help me through some of the personalities, the various constituencies, the history, the culture. Peter was a safe and understanding space for me – a wise friend.”
Mr. Ward, she noted, always kept informed about what was happening at school and the issues the board faced. “There was no more active emeritus trustee. I valued his counsel,” she said. “Even after I stepped down, we stayed in touch, and never ran out of conversation. We’ll miss him for sure, but I’d rather give him a cheer for a life well led – with thanks for his friendship and for all that he did over so many years to enhance life on the Hilltop.”
Mr. Ward is survived by his wife Audrey of 60 years and by their children, Peter, Susan, Pamelia and husband Paul, (grandsons Morgan and Brendan White), Douglas and wife Cecilia (and granddaughters Alexandra and Caitlin). He is also survived by his brother Larry and was predeceased by his brothers Philip ‘34 and Thomas.
After graduating SG, Mr. Ward left Princeton to join the Navy and was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1945, serving for a year on small ships to support seaplane operations in the Pacific theater until he was discharged as a Lt. (J.G.) in 1946.
Mr. Ward was recently featured in a Spring 2018 Bulletin article on the Class of 1943 and what it was like on the Hilltop during America’s entry into World War II.
Once he completed his service, Mr. Ward returned to school and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1947 and received his Bachelor of Laws degree from Penn Law School in 1949, where he served as Associate Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and, after coming to New York, President of the New York Alumni Society.
Mr. Ward went on to become a partner at New York City law firm Chadbourne & Parke for 35 years, which merged with Norton Rose Fulbright in 2017.
During his professional career in New York, he served on committees of the New York City and New York State Bar Associations and of the American Bar Association. He also served as a Director, Vice President, and member of the Executive Committee of the Legal Aid Society of New York and as a Director of the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.Peter Ward’s obituary can be found here.