Libby Lehman Honored by Rice University

Libby Lehman - Distinguished Alumna of Rice University 2014

Libby continues to recover from last month’s infection and hospitalization in the rehab facility. This weekend, she was named as one of the Distinguished Alumni of Rice University. You can watch the video produced to explain her award at the link below:

Libby Lehman Rice University Distinguished Alumni Video

Libby was able to attend the awards festivities, but still tires easily and was forced to leave before the awards ceremony. Watch her husband Lester’s acceptance speech in her behalf at this link:

Lester Lehman Acceptance of Libby’s Award

From Caring Bridge, here is her sister Ellen’s description of the evening:

The setting in “The Corinithian, The Classic Event Space” was gorgeous, epitomizing the words “fancy shmancy”. During the reception/cocktail hour Libby was a gracious honoree, holding court in her wheelchair while speaking to other guests and enduring (since her collarbone is fractured and tender) gentle hugs from many friends, and smiling through endless photo requests.

Of course, Libby always enjoys seeing family members, including sisters and brothers in law (the two Bill’s), nieces Elizabeth (New York City, NY) and Susan (with hubby Ron and daughter Abbi from Magnolia, TX), nephew Justin (Montgomery, TX), and “almost” family members, like Susan and Gary Gartner. Lester and Cathy both had so many friends that it took several tables to seat everyone and the Libby contingency was definitely the biggest fan base present. Libby’s “original” quilting club filled a table with proud smiles and nodding heads as “one of their own” was honored as a distinguished Rice alumni.

However, somewhere between the gourmet salad and the entree Libby “hit the wall” of too much noise, too many people, and just too much everything without enough energy left to continue the race. So we honored Libby’s request and got her in the car so son Les, accompanied by the ever faithful Tiffany, headed for U.P. with its nice room, comfy blanket, and evening Caregiver Edie waiting to receive Libby with open arms. Libby got to bed well after her normal bedtime but long before the midnight hour.

The awards presentation part of the ceremony was all we thought it would be, with videos and photos of each of the Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, which also included George Hirasaki, Peter Rowe, and Rusty Williams. Lester gave an acceptance speech on behalf of Libby which was clever, heartfelt, and brief -three good descriptors for Thank You speeches. He gave special Thanks to the Association of Rice Alumni and Laureates Committee, to family and friends, to Bill Arnold for spearheading Libby’s nomination, and to Dr. Mark Dannebaum (who was there tonight with his wife) and his team, who saved Libby’s life during her marthon surgeries. It was a well crafted and delivered speech so on behalf of Libby and all of us- Thanks, Lester!

Although many of us wished that Libby could have stayed to absorb the final glory of her accomplishments, she just didn’t have any energy left to finish that race. But still, what an Enchanted Evening for us all! We hope Libby will remember all the good parts she got to share and we will show her photos and the video (if we can get it) of the part she missed. We are hoping tonight that Libby is resting quietly in perfect comfort as we pray this prayer for her:
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the gifts of Libby’s life which she has shared with so many people and for which she has been honored tonight. Protect and keep Libby in your gentle hands as she heals from her infirmities, and help her find peace and solace on her journey. Please be with Lester and Les, and all her family, as we struggle to find ways to help Libby heal and to keep her life fulfilling and fun. Give us strength, faith, and patience, and lead us to wisdom and discernment as we make decisions for sweet Libby’s care and well-being. In humble gratitude, Amen!”

We echo Ellen’s beautiful prayer.

(photo and videos courtesy of Bill Arnold)