What is the Legacy of a Lehman?

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Meg Lehman '90

Kendall Lehman ’22 and Marshall Lehman ’24 celebrate her graduation from Upper School.

Marshall Lehman, Perspectives Editor

On Thursday, my sister came home with six awards, acknowledging her achievements in academics, arts, and athletics. I came home with a yearbook full of signatures. It’s obvious who is the favorite child: me (I have a social life).

Today, she graduated, completely done with FWCD. She’s going to the University of Virginia. I watched her cross the stage, smiling as the auditorium clapped her on. She shook hands with Head of School Eric Lombardi as he handed her a red folder embossed with her name in gold. Inside was her diploma. She’s completely done with FWCD. I watched her walk off stage to take a couple photos with her new hardware, and eventually take her seat once she had run a full lap around the theater. I am so unbelievably proud of her and the class of 2022’s accomplishments from Kindergarten to graduation.

During the reception, Kevin Bien approached me. I shook his hand and congratulated him on getting multiple shout-outs for his lunch menu announcements, and he told me about how infuriated I had made Connor Campbell by revealing to the student body that he wore a pair of women’s shoes. I’m delighted to know that my words inspire such strong emotions.

After watching the whole senior process, I mean all the photos, parties, celebrations, hugs, tears, congratulations, and more tears, I can’t help but think about legacy. What will I leave behind? I’m not the smartest, like my sister, and I’m not athletic enough to beat Coach Breedloves 22’9” Long Jump school record, so what will I leave behind after I am gone?

When I sit down to think about it, I’ve already got some things going for me. I’ve built strong relationships with my peers, teachers, and coaches, in addition to the dazzling reputation that my sister has left for me to maintain. There is also a chessboard in front of the Moncrief Library that will bear my name as long as the foundation that Boy Scouts installed holds true. But the way I see it, it’s just a plaque with an empty name inscribed on it. In a few years, every student that I know at Country Day will be gone and people will still play chess on that board, but wonder who Marshall Lehman was.

Legacy is a difficult concept to ponder at the prime of my life at 16 years old. I have big dreams, but am far from accomplishing them. To start off, I want to be successful in my academic ventures next year. That one is pretty straightforward. I want to incite positive change for the FWCD community as I serve on the Honor Council next year. I wasn’t elected because I can make a joke on occasion; I was elected because someone believes in me, that I can do good for the Upper School. I don’t want to let anyone down. I eventually want to lead The Quill. I have a lot of big ideas beyond satire and perspectives. I want to grow strong relationships with the staff (especially you, Elizabeth Dike). I want to grab the reins and create a thriving student publication. But, at the end of the day, I just want my name to be remembered by my friends, family, and loved ones as someone who cared for their community and did everything in their power to help those who needed it most.

Those thoughts are for the future. For now, I am my sister’s legacy at Country Day. Congratulations, Class of 2022. Go ensure your own legacy.