David A. Lebow '83 and Betsey Ladd Lebow '84 Scholarship
David Lebow '83 and Betsey Ladd '84 had their first date on the day of David's graduation from Ithaca
College. Casual friends, they agreed to meet downtown after Commencement. Apparently, expectations
weren't high: the 16-year-old cousin who was helping David move tagged along.
"I thought it was going to be a quick trip to Plums, a nice bar on Aurora Street," David laughed. "But
obviously, that's not how it ended." Before he left town, David told Betsey he'd call in a week, once
he was settled in his new apartment in Hartford. "Instead, he called me four hours after he left
Ithaca," Betsey said. "Neither of us was surprised."
The budding relationship was a long-distance one until Betsey graduated a year later. They found jobs
in the same cities, first in Los Angeles and then Chicago, and they married in 1986.
"What happened with Betsey and me is indicative of our relationship with the College," David said.
"For me, it was always a place to be with people you considered your family. For example, a group of us
students lived at the student radio station. We would be there until 3:00 a.m. because that's where we
wanted to be. We improved things to the point where our ratings beat every commercial station in
Ithaca. That a group of kids could do that is something I'll remember all my life."
In 2005, the couple established the David A. Lebow '83 and Betsey Ladd Lebow '84 Scholarship, which is
awarded annually to an outstanding student in the Park School who has shown evidence of potential
contributions in the field of communications, a commitment to the campus community, and demonstrated
"After starting our scholarship, I met Laura Seivert '07, the first scholarship recipient," David
said. "She is inspiring! Her entrepreneurial spirit, her drive to make IC work for her, her attitude,
and the experience she gained at IC were motivational. If giving [scholarship money] can help more
people like Laura, then we want to do more."
"Giving is a two-way street," he added. "As it helps others at IC, we get motivated by the connection
to IC, the faculty, administration, and students. It creates a positive circle. The more we give, the
more we like it. It continues to dawn on us, the responsibility we have to give back in life."