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Founding president of United World College-USA dies

January 30, 2019 GMT

Theodore “Ted” Lockwood, the founding president of Montezuma-based United World College-USA, died Jan. 21 at his home in Stowe, Vt. He was 94.

A longtime educator, Lockwood helmed the renowned two-year boarding high school near Las Vegas, N.M., from its opening in 1982 until 1993.

Former colleagues remembered him as a humble, eloquent visionary whose passion for his trade left an enduring stamp on the institution, according to a news release.

“He connected with the students, thoroughly enjoying interacting with them through discussion and through shared experience,” said Shirleen Lanham, a United World College-USA math teacher who taught under Lockwood’s leadership. “He went on expeditions with them, hung out with them after meals in the cafeteria, saw every bus off after graduation to say farewell and read every student’s report, adding a comment of his own.”

The school, one of 17 United World Colleges worldwide and the only one in the U.S., typically attracts students from more than 90 countries. It focuses on academic rigor, intercultural understanding, sustainability and a hands-on approach to learning. Students, who are 15 to 19 years old, graduate with an International Baccalaureate degree.

Lockwood was born in Hanover, N.H., on Dec. 5, 1924. He graduated as valedictorian from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and went on to receive master’s and doctoral degrees from Princeton University.

After taking on teaching and administrator roles at some of the Northeast’s most prestigious colleges and universities, Lockwood returned to Trinity College in 1967 as its president. There, he led the transformation of the historically all-men’s school into a co-ed institution.

In the early 1980s, Lockwood helped found United World College-USA alongside industrialist and philanthropist Armand Hammer. The school’s legal name is the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West.

Lockwood is survived by his wife, Lu Lockwood; daughters, Tamara Jane Quinn, Mavis Ferens Lockwood and Serena Katherine Lockwood; and stepsons, Nicholas Abbot and Michael Abbot. He was preceded in death by his son, Richard Davidge Lockwood, who passed away in 2005.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 9 at St. John’s in the Mountains Episcopal Church in Stowe, Vt. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to United World College-USA.

“Montezuma was the closest thing to Ted’s heart,” Lu Lockwood said, according to the news release.