Debbie Hall Lanham
139 Brookside Avenue
Belmont, MA  02478
Home: (617) 489-2618

Dropped out of college after my freshman year to marry a guy from Stoughton who crashed my high school graduation party. Big Mistake!

When the marriage ended a few years later I spent about a year traveling in the Far East and Europe. Took the Trans-Siberian Railway on my return trip from Japan and spent some time skiing in Switzerland and France. 

Upon my return I continued my education at U Mass Boston while working full time as a secretary. Got a BA in English and then did some graduate work at Northeastern where they were kind enough to give me tuition and teaching assistantship which required teaching freshmen English. I decided then and there that I wasn't meant to be a teacher. Too scary! Maybe I could do it now that I'm older and have more confidence.

At Northeastern I met my second and current husband, Jon Lanham, an instructor in English with a recent Ph.D. from Toronto and an AB summa cum laude from Harvard. Unfortunately, shortly after we met his contract ended so I quit my graduate program and went to work at Harvard while he looked for another position.

I ended up running an Executive Education Program at the Kennedy School for several years and Jon got a job at Widner Library where he had worked as an undergraduate. For the past 20 years he has served as head of Lamont, Harvard's undergraduate library.

Meanwhile, suffering severe burnout from my job, I returned to graduate school, this time at the Harvard Divinity School where I earned a Masters in Theological Studies with a concentration in scriptural languages (mainly Greek and Hebrew) and early Judaism and Christianity.

Following that, I entered the private sector and worked for a series of venture capital-backed high tech and bio tech start up companies, starting out as Assistant to the President and somehow ending up as a Facilities Manager where I was responsible for building out and managing a number of office complexes and laboratories, including telecommunications, network operations, electrical, HVAC, plumbing. It's funny how life leads us down such strange paths. I'm still amazed that I could do all this especially since I've always been such a klutz with things mechanical.

After about 10 years of this kind of work I'd had enough. Now I am now back in graduate school at Weston Jesuit School of Theology. I'm still not sure where I'll be going this but it's great to be studying theology again which is my first love.

Having grown up in a staunchly secular family, sometime in my early thirties I began a spiritual search and a series of religious studies and practices including Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, and Eastern Orthodoxy. Ultimately I ended up joining the Roman Catholic Church about 5 years ago where I have finally found my spiritual home and am very happy and active in several ministries at St. Paul's Parish in Harvard Square.

After living in Cambridge for many years, Jon and I moved to Belmont where we are surrounded by conservation land including a brook (Beaver Brook) in our back yard with live ducks swimming back and forth. The first couple of years we used to feed them but then they started coming up to our back door so we soon discontinued that practice.

We have no children, but will become the temporary parents of a teenager next year when my sister Ellen's daughter from New Zealand graduates from high school, and is longing to live in the states for a while and may even go to college here. This will be a challenge, but we're all looking forward to it.

Oh, I almost forgot. The biggest event of this year (so far anyway) was my heart attack which struck in early march. What a shock! I only missed two weeks of school, though, and am recovering quickly. I also cleaned up my act a bit and amended some bad habits, so maybe it was a good thing after all.

Well, enough about me -- probably more than anyone would want to know -- but I've been out of touch with my former classmates for so long, it feels great to catch up.

I really appreciate all your efforts and the Reunion Team for pulling this all together, and hope I will be able to make to the event and see everyone in person.

Best wishes to all,