(Farmington, Conn. October 02, 2021) — Miss Porter’s School will name its new student center in honor of Glenda Newell-Harris, M.D., a distinguished Ancient who was the first Black student to attend the school, Head of School Katherine G. Windsor, Ed.D. announced October 02, 2021. Dr. Newell-Harris graduated in 1971.
Dr. Newell-Harris, of Oakland, Calif., is an internal medicine physician who serves as the Western Region Medical Director for Corizon Health, Inc. She is also an author, speaker and health care consultant. The first Black person to be named a trustee of Miss Porter’s School, she served on the board from 1993 until 1999.
“It’s a most incredible honor,” Dr. Newell-Harris said of the naming. “To have this happen while I have children who can appreciate this, I’m not even sure that words can adequately express the emotion that’s attached to this honor.” She hopes that African American students will see the decision to name the student center after her as “a firm demonstration of Farmington’s commitment to recognize and honor any and all who have contributed to the school, no matter what their color” and reinforce their pride in their decision to attend Miss Porter’s School.
Located in the center of the Farmington campus, The Dr. Glenda Newell-Harris ’71 Student Center will occupy a historic renovated wood-shingled cottage at 62 Main Street, which has been used as a gym, a theater and home to the Music Department. Expected to open early in 2022, the new student center will be a welcoming space where girls can visit with friends and family, entertain groups from other schools, grab a snack or just relax. It will also provide meeting space for the many student groups to convene and work together. It will feature a newly restored fireplace, soft furnishings, an intimate performance space and a spacious patio where the iconic Victory Bell will be relocated.
“We are thrilled to be naming this essential gathering space for Dr. Newell-Harris,” said Dr. Windsor. “Honoring a distinguished leader and alumna in this way is a visible demonstration of our community’s commitment to belonging and inclusion. Miss Porter’s School understands the importance of representation to affirm all our students’ experiences. Glenda has been a leader and champion of Miss Porter’s School and we are a better school because of her.”
About Dr. Newell-Harris
Dr. Newell-Harris grew up in Raleigh and Winston-Salem, N.C. She is the co-author of “Focus on YOUR BEST HEALTH: Smart Guide to the Health Care You Deserve” and the recipient of numerous personal and professional accolades, including the National Medical Association’s highest honor, the Scroll of Merit, in 2014. In 2019, she was named a Bay Area Champion of Health by National Medical Fellowships.
She is a past national president of The Links, Incorporated, a nonprofit service organization of professional women of African descent who are committed to serving and strengthening their communities. Dr. Newell-Harris has been honored by the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, the Bay Area Black United Fund, the John Hale Medical Society, and Cinnamongirl, Inc. She is a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Married to Robert L. Harris, she is the mother of four grown children and is reveling in spending time with a new granddaughter.
About Miss Porter’s School
Miss Porter’s School is a college preparatory boarding and day school for girls in grades 9 through 12. Located in the center of Farmington, Connecticut, the school was founded in 1843 by scholar and educator Sarah Porter. It offers a dynamic, rigorous approach to education that prepares young women to become informed, bold, resourceful and ethical global citizens. The student body is made up of more than 330 girls from 24 states and 13 countries. Porter’s is committed to creating an environment where all students enjoy a sense of belonging and understands the importance of representation to affirm our students’ experiences. Qualified students of any race, color, religious affiliation, national and ethnic origin, ancestry, mental or physical disability, or sexual orientation are welcomed members of the community.