Agnes A. Louard died peacefully at her home in New York city on March 28. She was 96.

She was born on March 10, 1922 in Savannah, Ga. She graduated from South Philadelphia High School for Girls in 1940 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1944, a master’s degree from Fiske University in 1945, and a master’s degree in social work from the Columbia School of Social Work. She joined the faculty of the Columbia School of Social Work in 1952 as an assistant professor and retired as an associate professor in 1992.

As a homeowner on Martha’s Vineyard for over 55 years, Agnes loved her summer community. Realizing the importance the Vineyard would play in the lives of her children, she devoted a significant amount of time to local organizations. In addition to relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the Island, she served in leadership roles in the NAACP, The Cottagers Of Martha’s Vineyard and the ecumenical and progressive Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs.

She was an important and influential member of every community that she was part of, including the Five Towns, Harlem, Martha’s Vineyard and Columbia University. She was appointed by the governor of New York to shape and launch the inaugural Head Start program nationwide. She received the Outstanding Teacher award from the Columbia School of Social Work in 1993 and the Alumni Medal from Columbia University in 1998. She believed in imparting life lessons to her children, students, friends and co-workers.

She is survived by her children, Dr. Rita J. Louard, Diane Louard-Michel, and Kenneth A. Louard, her grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, V. Benjamin Louard, parents, the Rev. Joseph B. Anthony and Agnes Anthony, and siblings Carmella Wallace, Madelyn Bennett, and Joseph Anthony.

A wake and viewing was held April 9 at Benta’s Funeral Home in New York, N.Y. Funeral services took place on April 10 at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York, N.Y.