For two Dickinsonians, graduating 47 years apart, Dickinson provided not only a transformative education, but also a profound sense of community. On May 4, Harriet Marcus Lehman ’72 and Liam Alec Stenson Ortiz ’19 spoke movingly about their extraordinary journeys at Dickinson and beyond during the 2019 Scholarship Luncheon, an annual event that brings some of Dickinson’s most promising current students together with the donors who help make the Dickinson education possible.
Along with husband Mark ’71, Lehman is a former scholarship recipient who now gives back through the Harriet ’72 and Mark ’71 Lehman Scholarship Fund to support promising students who need financial aid to attend Dickinson. Speaking in the HUB Social Hall, she shared the family struggles and financial challenges she and Mark faced as undergraduates, and the difference that caring peers and mentors made, as they gained the educations they needed to build a new life together.
“Dickinson was instrumental to our success in life, and for that I am very grateful," Lehman said. "The friends old and new that we made through Dickinson are now our family.”
Ortiz is a recipient of the Perseverancia Scholarship, established by an anonymous donor. A native of Mexico who speaks four languages, he majors in biochemistry & molecular biology, and is pursuing a health studies certificate. “Thank you for coming to this gathering with open and generous hearts,” he said, speaking on behalf of all Dickinson scholarship recipients, to those who have donated to scholarships at Dickinson. “Through your support, you acknowledge our work, our identities and our goals.”
Like Lehman, Ortiz shared the formidable struggles he overcame on the road to Dickinson, the support he found on campus and his plans to attend medical school and one day provide medical care to underserved populations. “I am grateful and proud to be in a room with all of you,” he said. “Family is chosen, and we make family and friends wherever we go. Thank you so much for choosing us.”
Published May 7, 2019