Potash Hill

Magnanimity Cum Laude

We Love Lucy’s Marlboro
By Michael DeLaurentis

Lucy walks across stage after receiving her Marlboro diploma. Photo by Jeff WoodwardAt commencement last May, the college announced a new academic award in honor of Lucy DeLaurentis ’10, who passed away in January. Lucy’s father, Michael, reflects on that announcement and the Marlboro community he has come to love in Lucy’s absence.

We knew it would be difficult to walk the ground Lucy walked for six years, recalling the good times and bad, the central years of her adult life. When the moment of President Ellen’s recognition of Lucy and the announcement of the scholarship came, though, the depth of emotion that welled up surprised us. The feelings are clearly still very raw, and there’s obviously not much that’s more important to us right now than remembering Lucy through this scholarship. That moment sealed for us a permanent, direct attachment to the Marlboro community.

Lucy’s years at Marlboro were definitely the best of her too-short life. What impressed us was how close Lucy was with her teachers, as well as her friends—friends, teachers: they all blended together. Each of her teachers gave her so much individual attention, which may have contributed to Lucy’s feeling that she could never settle for merely acceptable: she needed to deliver her best, for her own pride and satisfaction and as gratitude to her teachers for their care and attention.

We love Lucy’s Marlboro friends, now our own. They mean so much more to us now—not just as continuing sources of fond memories about Lucy, but as virtual family members by extension and intensely interesting individuals. Each is so impressive in his or her own way. Two of Lucy’s friends spoke at her memorial service; several who attended and heard them were so impressed that they googled Marlboro College to learn where these poised, articulate individuals were educated.

Lucy joins in the massive hug-fest following commencement. Photo by Dianna NoyesWhat we have come to appreciate far more about Marlboro, since Lucy’s death, is just how central it is in the lives of all members of its community— and why. We have come to see why Lucy became so attached to her friends and teachers at Marlboro—to the community at large. We both have multiple degrees from elite small institutions, but we have never seen anything that approaches Marlboro in the intensely individual focus each member gives to each other, and with it a very close approach to true democracy. Interacting with Lucy’s friends and teachers, we have a more vivid sense of the rigor and creativity cherished and fostered at Marlboro.

Learn about giving to Lucy’s scholarship and other named awards.