Former PSC Director of Cultural Affairs Lawrence Hamilton Dies
It is our regret to announce the death of Lawrence Hamilton, 59, former PSC director of cultural affairs and an assistant professor of humanities.
The Broadway star and Foreman, Ark., native was a well-beloved and talented figure. Before becoming director of the renowned Philander Smith Collegiate Choir, Hamilton had enjoyed a career that included Broadway credits in performances of "Play On," "Jelly's Last Jam" and "Ragtime," to name a few. In recent years, he traveled between homes in Little Rock and New York so that he could continue to have a presence on the theatrical scene.
His friendships and close associations with legendary musical talents benefited Philander Smith College in numerous ways, bringing greats such as opera star Jessye Norman and singer/actress Della Reese to Little Rock for performances supporting the college. Hamilton also used his considerable local influence to benefit the school—finding favor with prominent leaders and involving them on campus. And of course, he had an indelible impression on students, those whom he taught and otherwise.
In a statement, Gov. Mike Beebe said via Twitter, "We are all saddened by the loss of Arkansas Broadway star Lawrence Hamilton. He was a good friend to the Beebes for many years." A graduate of Henderson State University, Hamilton was a member of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame and also the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 8 at Trinity United Methodist Church at 1101 N. Mississippi Ave. in Little Rock.
At Philander Smith College, Mr. Hamilton will be remembered and celebrated at the Choir Chapel at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 10 in the M.L. Harris Auditorium. All are welcome to attend.
He certainly will be missed. Prayers and condolences go out to his family, friends and other loved ones.