Lilly Lavner '07 in her new office.
Lilly Lavner ’07 Joins Student Activities Office
On July 1, Haverford welcomed Lilly Lavner ’07 as the new coordinator of student activities and leadership. She is replacing Jason McGraw, the former assistant dean and director of student activities who had been with the College for six years. In fact it was McGraw who inspired Lavner, his former intern, to pursue the career in high education that has now landed her back at her alma mater.
While earning her master’s in higher education administration at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Lavner worked in social justice education and for the Science Learning Center, coordinating peer-led study groups. She then moved to Mississippi to work in the admissions office of Millsaps College. But when she heard that her mentor was leaving Haverford to pursue a law degree, she was eager to return to campus to help enrich the experience of a new generation of Fords.
“Working in student life at Haverford is a truly incredible opportunity, and represents a new chapter of my life, which I am excited to begin,” says Lavner. “However, if I am sitting in this office in Chase, it also means that Jason—a very good friend and mentor of mine—is leaving Haverford. During my time as an undergraduate, Jason was somebody who was influential in almost every aspect of my life. So to be at Haverford and to not have Jason here is truly bittersweet.”
Lavner will be running an office that serves to enrich the co-curricular lives of students. She will facilitate campus-wide, student-run events; advise student-run committees; work with students to address alcohol issues on campus; serve as an advisor to the treasurer of Students’ Council; and promote interaction among all segments of the Haverford College community. Additionally, she will work with the more than 145 student-run clubs and organizations on campus, assisting them in their efforts to implement events, coordinate trips, advertise, fund-raise, and organize conferences and symposia. She will also serve as executive director of the Rufus M. Jones Institute for Leadership, developing and implementing a student leadership development curriculum. The coordinator of student activities and leadership has a lot of responsibilities, but Lavner is especially looking forward to helping to plan senior week and sitting on the Commencement committee, which she also sat on as a student.
“Without a doubt, Lilly will bring considerable talent, skill and experience to the position,” says Senior Associate Dean of the College and Dean of Student Life Steven Watter, who coordinated the search committee. "She comes to us with strengths in advising, planning, programming and working with students of diverse backgrounds. She knows Haverford well, as she was one of the most engaged and involved students of her day... and is very enthusiastic about returning to the College now.”
“Students come here to get an excellent education, but there are so many other things that give you an education outside of the classroom,” says Lavner. “The stuff that you learn about yourself and about your peers, the people you live with, all of those extra experiences are what make the Haverford experience a very special one. Also, the relationships you form with your administrators and faculty, and the mentorship that you get here [are special]. I had this, and I want to give it to other students. I want to provide that kind of support or guidance and be a resource and an advocate for students in a way that I think my administrators and my faculty were for me.”
- Rebecca Raber