Alumni Spotlight: Meet the 134th Lawrence Board

The 134th Lawrence Board will be celebrating their five-year reunion this

weekend. Read on for their reflections about their experience at The Lawrence!

The 134th Lawrence Board will be celebrating their five-year reunion this

weekend. Read on for their reflections about their experience at The Lawrence!

Sammy Bhatia '15 Editor in Chief: "At Lawrenceville, even though there are [many] groups of people, it still feels like one large community," Sammy Bhatia '15 noted on what he missed most about the School. It was this sense of community that Bhatia sought to promote through The Lawrence rather than it being an "unfettered stream of consciousness by a small group of students." In fulfilling this goal, Bhatia discovered his passion for writing and editing. "I came into Lawrenceville as a math kid, but then I ended up studying English in college, largely due to The Lawrence, and majored in classics because of teachers like [Chair of the Language Department Devondra McMillan]." Of course, Bhatia also enjoyed his position because he was able to "boss around Nick, the Sports Editor and [his] best friend."

Neil Menghani '15 Managing Editor: Neil Menghani '15 reflected on how his position augmented his critical thinking skills as a citizen overall. Menghani owes his current skepticism when digesting media to the duties he had to fulfill while acting as Managing Editor. "During our tenure as a Board, there were some major controversies that came up, so ensuring we were not editorializing and reporting without bias was a challenge." He owed his time managment and leadership skills to the rigorous schedule he had at Lawrenceville, especially through The Lawrence. While working in a fast paced environment was sometimes stressful, he fondly remembered the hectic "Red Light Nights" and how the Board would skateboard in the basement of [Fathers Building], which "always helped gather [his] thoughts."

Jason Zhang '15 News Editor: "When I think back to my time at Lawrenceville, half of my experience is school and sports, but the other half is my time with The Lawrence" Jason Zhang '15 said. Zhang went into Lawrenceville with a strong focus on STEM subjects, but his time on The Lawrence influenced him to eventually study Humanities subjects in college. As a day student, Zhang felt that his connection with the rest of the Board was stronger than many of his other relationships. This sense of camaraderie within the Board, whether it be in writing funny quotes on the whiteboards, or shivering in sweaters "even in the dead of winter, when [Wey] would insist on opening the windows for at least an hour or two everyday," allowed Zhang to view The Lawrence as not just an extracurricular, but also a second family.

Anuj Krishnamurthy '15 Opinions Editor: For Anuj Krishnamurthy '15, the lessons he learned while working at The Lawrence directly translated to his career and current volunteer work. "Being Opinions Editor taught me to recognize and respect people's perspectives in the community, and at Lawrenceville, it felt really rewarding to help the other students write about their thoughts," Krishnamurthy recounted. In continuing this mission of representing students' voices, Krishnamurthy explained that while he now works at an investment firm, he also teaches an economics program to underrepresented highschoolers. "Being the Opinions Editor taught me to see a bigger community of people; this was one of the takeaways I had from being on The Lawrence."

Elizabeth Beckman '15 Features Editor: While Features Editor Elizabeth Beckman '15 enjoyed the freedom and flexibility of writing for the Features section, some of her fondest memories came from her interactions with the board members and even from trivial disagreements. "We had so much righteous disagreement…to the extent that all of the Section Editors wrote up a document-our very own '95 Theses' of [our] grievances. At the time we were so stressed about that, but looking back it's so silly." Beckman also vividly remembers the fun but stressful Thursday nights, often resulting in a lot of "palpable stress." While there were challenges, Beckman misses the conversations, memories, and even the "small feuds…from which [she] gained the perspective that there can be disagreements and criticism."

Veena Bhagavathi '15 Arts Editor: "I dipped my toes in a lot of aspects of the arts; I was the captain of a dance team, I danced in the Spring Dance Concert, I did a bit of behind the scenes of work in theater, I was in the orchestra for a little bit, but none of those really felt like my niche," Veena Bhagavathi '15 said when asked about why she was drawn to The Lawrence. Bhagavathi turned to writing for the Arts Section and used it as a medium to represent all her varying artistic ventures. "Looking back, it was a very significant part of my Lawrenceville experience; I learned to not take [my writing] so seriously, but also to use my voice." In addition, she said, "The office was a homebase for all of us and we would drop in during free times just to see who else was there to hang out. We had a lot of fun as a board!"

Nick Wey '15 Sports Editor: Racing to Pop Hall on publishing nights after quickly scarfing down dinner because of his late practices was a signature part of Nick Wey's '15 Lawrence experience. While the stresses on Thursday nights were difficult, Wey still misses the bonding with his board members in the office, such as sharing quips with the Olla Pod members, arguing with Bhatia about who had aux privileges, and penny boarding up and down the newly renovated basement of Pop. Although he wasn't familiar with everyone on the Board prior to The Lawrence, they eventually became a "special family." "Looking back, it's rare that any student body or school has the capacity to support so many different facets of itself; I feel very lucky to have had that experience at Lawrenceville and it's something that you can easily take for granted," he said.

Aulden Foltz '15 and Dennis Duan'15 Copy Editors: Aulden Foltz '15 enjoyed the creative projects she was able to work on during her time on The Lawrence. "One of our first papers was for Alumni Weekend and we did Board Picks with alumni; hearing about the lives of people who used to be on The Lawrence was such a fun experience." Much like the alumni they interviewed, today, Foltz often remembers her close friendships with her fellow board members. As Duan reflected on the close relationships he established, he said that The Lawrence was an "entirely different environment from anywhere else in school [because] it was a small group of people who [knew] each other pretty well and [were] working towards a common goal." On discussing his takeaways from The Lawrence, Duan mentioned that "there were a lot of people there to look out for you and help you develop as a person."

Eric Chen '15 Web Editor: Eric Chen '15 dedicated much of his time as Web Editor in the summer before his V Form year to learning and programming the new website for the newspaper. While Chen did not have as many day-to-day responsibilities or weekly deadlines as other Board members did, his position allowed him to create more long term advancements for the paper as a whole. With the freedom and flexibility of this position, Chen worked on making the newspaper accessible by phone and more interactive on the internet. It was through his independent research that he learned valuable technical and business related skills. "As part of the Board, many of the budget and editorial decisions were for us to make, and these kinds of experiences served to be very valuable going into college," Chen noted.

Esther Baek '15 Photo Editor: For Esther Baek '15, The Lawrence embodied the tight-knit community of supportive and hardworking peers she had throughout her time at Lawrenceville. Reflecting on the lifelong relationships she made through The Lawrence, Baek said "There were many organic relationships made at The Lawrence, just because of [the School's community] of eating together and living together." The Lawrence's collaborative and fast-paced working environment also opened many learning opportunities for the board members. "Being a Photo Editor, I learned the importance of communication, and the skills I gained have helped me beyond The Lawrence and college."

David Xin '15 Associate Editor: David Xin '15 valued his connection with his fellow board members so much that he continued to partake in publications during college. In addition, he appreciated the lessons he learned from the collaborative experience. "I really enjoyed the camaraderie that we had in the office; being able to work with all your best friends made it a really amazing experience." Not only was working on the paper enjoyable for him, The Lawrence helped Xin develop stronger leadership skills and sparked his interest in writing. As the former Sports Editor for The Daily Princetonian, Xin believes that "writing for The Lawrence helped [him] develop his ability to translate his skills to sports writing in college."

George Lankas '15 Business Manager: George Lankas '15, former Business Manager of The Lawrence, believes that his real-world experience in business inspired him to pursue a career in economics. "As a Business Manager, one of the most difficult things was trying to balance my objectives-increasing profits and reducing expenses-with the objectives of the Editor-In-Chief, so there was always this concept [of] tug and pull," Lankas noted. "On Thursdays, we were always able to bond over trying to produce a product in such a short time frame and getting it ready for Friday," On top of his typical responsibilities, he often kept the Board happy by covering the expenses of the much coveted Dominos, amongst other feeds.

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