Alumnae Spotlight showcases amazing Laurel women and the paths they have charted since graduation.
Whether they are doctors, designers, artists, authors, scientists, lawyers, teachers, entrepreneurs, engineers, pharmacists, or civic activists or volunteers, Laurel women inhabit nearly all careers and corners of the world helping to make it a better place.
Our alumnae and the journeys that they have taken speak to the essence of a Laurel education and what makes this School and the community of women who call it their own distinctive. This space highlights their fascinating lives and the mountains they continue to move.
If you would like to be featured in our Alumnae Spotlight, or know of an alumna who might, please email Megan Findling.
“The ideal artist is one who knows everything, feels everything, experiences everything and retains his or her experience in a spirit of wonder and feeds up on it with creative lust.” It is easy to see why this quote from painter George Bellows is a favorite of Fran Baker Bayless ’47. Fran reared her two daughters, Margaret Bayless ’74 and Nancy Bayless Cross ’77, and taught Kindergarten at Laurel for nearly twenty years before finding an outlet for her artistic dreams. A trip to Antarctica led her to discover her passion for wildlife photography and at the age of 62, Fran started studying at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Now in her ninth decade and still braving Antarctic temperatures for the perfect shot (see them at www.worldnaturephotos.net), Fran’s work has been featured in countless galleries and exhibitions. She has been a guest artist at the Rochester Institute of Technology, was the first female wildlife photographer to be published in Kodak’s professional magazine and is featured in Dr. Sylvia Rimm’s book How Jane Won: 55 Successful Women Share How They Grew from Ordinary Girls to Extraordinary Women. Read on to learn more about Fran’s adventures and head to The Federated Church’s art gallery (76 Bell Street, Chagrin Falls, OH) to view Fran’s work on display through the end of May.