Where community empowers public education

The Ross and Lola Ramsey Stage at Duane Smith Auditorium

Ross and Lola Ramsey worked as a team to manage the Civic Auditorium, now the Duane Smith Auditorium, for over a quarter of a century, from the year the auditorium opened in 1951 to 1974 when they both retired. The Ramseys created and directed the renowned Olions theater program. They each played a profound role in shaping the lives of thousands of students who participated in the performing arts. In front of — and behind — the curtain, the Ramseys helped students find and develop their potential as they acted in and produced plays, musicals, and the storied Topper Revue.

Many students went on to successful careers in the performing arts. All students were presented with the opportunity to learn how to build self-esteem, perform, manage, collaborate, and succeed in whatever they pursued. Alumni in all walks-of-life identify the time they spent on and around the stage as a period that shaped who they are today.

The goal of the Light up the Stage for the Ramseys project is to complement and add to the honor bestowed on Duane Smith when the auditorium was named after him in 1994. In naming the stage after the Ramseys, we seek to appropriately memorialize two people who influenced our lives and helped us develop as human beings. We also strive to carry forward for future generations the tradition of theatrical excellence begun by the Ramseys.

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the first $20,000 raised for this effort will be matched by an additional $20,000. While our goal is to ensure that the names Ross & Lola Ramsey live through the ages, we also hope to activate the excellence and drive the Ramseys instilled in our generation so that all who enter this magnificent stage in this beautiful auditorium will know what it truly means to say “Away you go, kids. Away you go!”

Thank you for making a donation to honor Ross and Lola Ramsey!

Your gift will be used for the annual scholarship for graduating LAHS seniors who have been active in the Olions.

You may also make a donation by check made out to Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation with Ramsey in the memo line.  The mailing address is:  LAPS Foundation, 1010 Central Avenue, Los Alamos, NM 87544.

Elise Ovaska, Winner of 2023 Ramsey Scholarship
Pippin Cast and former Ramsey students on the Ross and Lola Ramsey Stage