Carrying on the legacy of Andrea Mead Lawrence
Andrea Mead Lawrence was an Olympic double gold medalist, mother of five, visionary environmental leader, 16-year Mono County Supervisor, and advocate for Mono Lake’s protection. The Mono Lake Committee helps to carry on Andrea’s inspirational environmental legacy through the annual presentation of the Andrea Lawrence Award for passionate engagement in community and the land.
Pictured: Mt. Andrea Lawrence, officially designated in 2013.
Who was Andrea Mead Lawrence?
Raised in Rutland, Vermont, Andrea Mead Lawrence skied competitively from 1942–1956. She won the Olympic Tryout Slalom at the age of 14 and was the youngest winner of the Harriman Cup in downhill, slalom, and combined events in 1950, at age 18. During the 1950–51 season, she entered sixteen international races in eight weeks in Europe, placing first in ten races and second in four.
Andrea was a member of the US Olympic Alpine Team in 1948, 1952, and 1956—the only American alpine skier to compete in three Olympics and one of only four women in the world to do so at that time. She was captain of the women’s team in 1952, when she won two Olympic gold medals in slalom and giant slalom.
Andrea was the only American skier to ever win two gold medals in a single Olympics, and was the only woman in the world to do so until the record was matched in 1972. In 1950, Andrea was awarded the American Ski Trophy for making the greatest contribution to the sport of skiing and Time Magazine acknowledged her contribution to her sport by putting her on the cover of their January 21st issue.
Community involvement and environmental advocacy
Andrea was an environmental and community leader and advocate who has helped preserve the beauty of the Eastern Sierra’s landscapes and communities. She served as a Mono County Supervisor and chairperson, where she represented Mono County on many important issues, including supporting the establishment of the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area and advocating for the Bodie Protection Act. She also served as a member and chairperson on the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District and served on the boards of the Yosemite Restoration Trust, Coalition for Unified Recreation in the Eastern Sierra, and the Mono Lake Committee.
Throughout her career she also founded several organizations, including Friends of Mammoth, Southern Mono Historical Society, Sierra Nevada Alliance, Sierra Nevada Regional Initiative, and the Andrea Lawrence Institute for Mountains and Rivers.
Andrea Lawrence Fund
After Andrea’s passing in 2009, her non-profit, the Andrea Lawrence Institute for Mountains and Rivers (ALIMAR), led by her daughter Quentin, approached the Mono Lake Committee and together both organizations crafted a plan to transfer the ALIMAR program to the Committee.
The Mono Lake Committee created the Andrea Lawrence Fund to promote and celebrate passionate engagement in community and the land with an emphasis on encouraging collaboration and inspiring youth to become environmental leaders.
The fund was established with the transfer of all assets from ALIMAR, which dissolved as an organization. All ALIMAR members became Mono Lake Committee members, and the Committee began hosting the Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner in 2011.
Special gifts in Andrea’s honor are welcome and will be dedicated to the purposes of the fund.
Please send to:
Mono Lake Committee
Andrea Lawrence Fund
P.O. Box 29
Lee Vining, CA 93541
Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner
The Mono Lake Committee helps to carry on Andrea’s inspirational environmental legacy through the presentation of her award at the annual Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner. The dinner is a chance to gather in memory of Andrea while enjoying food and conversation with a spectacular view of Mt. Andrea Lawrence. It is at this event that we present the Andrea Lawrence Award for passionate engagement in community and the land.
We were happy to return to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area’s Parallax Restaurant on May 5, 2023 after a three-year hiatus for the in-person event!
In 2022 we organized an online fundraiser for the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center in Andrea’s memory, which raised more than $14,000 in an outpouring of generous support. On her birthday, April 19, we also posted stories and memories from some of her family, friends, and colleagues.
The 2020, 2021, and 2022 Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner events were canceled due to COVID-19.
• 2023: Dave Marquart, retired Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve Ranger, who was a dedicated and a skilled interpreter during his 36-year career
• 2019: Elsa Lopez, Los Angeles-based educator, activist, and champion of the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center program
• 2018: Phil Pister, desert fish and golden trout conservationist, environmental ethicist, and retired California Department of Fish & Wildlife fishery biologist
• 2017: Genny Smith, author, editor, activist, and the “Naturalist Queen of the Eastern Sierra”
• 2016: Dan & Leslie Dawson, formerly of the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve (Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory and Valentine Camp)
• 2015: Ted Schade, formerly of the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District
• 2014: California Department of Fish & Wildlife
• 2013: Karen Ferrell-Ingram, founding Board member and former Executive Director of the Eastern Sierra Land Trust
• 2012: Bodie Foundation
• 2011: Eastern Sierra Audubon
• 2008: Mono Lake Committee
• 2007: Friends of the Inyo
Top photo by Andrew Youssef.