Laura Elizabeth Harris, 39
Published 7:22 am Tuesday, May 9, 2023
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Laura Elizabeth Harris, of Greenbelt, MD, on May 1, 2023. She was 39 years old.
Laura was born August 10th, 1983, in Harlan, KY to Deb and Paul Harris. She grew up in Harlan and Duffield, VA with her older sister Sarah Harris. A passionate lifelong learner, Laura attended high school at Salem Academy, earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, a master’s degree in Public Policy from George Mason University, and pursued a doctoral degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education from the University of Maryland.
Laura had a successful career in research and higher education, most recently at the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC). Her research focused on creating equitable access for marginalized students in university programs, an issue that was deeply personal and a driving force in her professional life. During her PhD program, Laura found a passion for teaching, where she made a significant impact on her students through advocacy and leadership.
Throughout her life, Laura infused everything she touched with joy and a sharp wit that changed us all for the better. Laura loved fiercely, spoke out passionately, and was uniquely opinionated and curious in a way that prompted genuine inquiry in others. She enjoyed the simple aspects of everyday life — reading a good book, gorging on greasy fast food, debating with friends, and spending far too much time stalking birds. Her warmth, humor, and infectious laughter were a source of joy to those who knew her.
When Laura developed an interest, she demonstrated a thirst for knowledge that led to expertise in a variety of areas. She particularly enjoyed bird watching and travel with her partner Clinton Herget. She had a deep love for all animals, especially her beloved cats Toast and Marmalade, and her devoted beagle, Burt.
Laura is survived by her parents Deb and Paul Harris, sister Sarah Harris, nephew Zachary Rhoton and partner Clinton Herget. Her passing leaves a void that cannot be filled, but her memory will live on through the many lives she touched and the love she shared.
A celebration of life service will be held in her honor on on May 20, 2023 in Duffield, VA.
In lieu of flowers, Laura requested that donations be made to King Street Cats.
Laura Elizabeth Harris will forever be remembered for her dedication to her friends and family, ability to find humor in the darkest of times, and unwavering spirit. Rest in peace, dear Laura.