Molly Langan Lebowitz, Class of 1979, Inducted in 2002
When most people think of Vermont, they imagine the gentle peaks of the Green Mountains or the brilliant hues of autumn leaves. But Molly Langan Lebowitz saw Vermont and imagined wine.
In 1996, Molly and her husband, Harrison, started the first vineyard and grape winery in the State of Vermont: Snow Farm Vineyards. Since opening, Snow Farm Vineyards has regularly sold out of its production and its wines are featured throughout Vermont's finest restaurants and retail stores.
But Molly's achievements don't start and end with wine. One of her first impressive accomplishments took place when she was only 14. In 1975, Molly became one of the youngest swimmers with the Syracuse Chargers Swim Team ever to win a State championship title.
Molly later graduated from Dartmouth College, and then New York University Law School. After law school, she worked at a New York City law firm, specializing in commercial real estate law.
But the desire to get away from the hectic New York lifestyle and raise a family in more peaceful surroundings drew Molly and Harrison, also an attorney, to Vermont. There, a growing concern for the agricultural industry in Vermont and urban sprawl caused Molly and Harrison to investigate ways they could help keep the land open and working.
After several years of research, and raising funds, Snow Farm Vineyards was born. In the midst of her legal career, opening the vineyard and raising her two children, Jarett and Tess, Molly's life took an unwelcome detour when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"I was bewildered," she says. "There was no history of breast cancer in my family. Here I was, a championship swimmer. I thought I was so healthy. And it couldn't have happened at a worse time."
After completing the grueling round of treatments, Molly used her swimming skills to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. In 1998, she made the four-mile swim across Lake Champlain and raised $1,800.
Juggling all of her responsibilities is no small feat, but Molly draws on her inner resources to make it work.
"With two young children, a demanding law career and a start up agricultural-based business, I am firmly planted in the 'householder' years of my life. I find my daily inspiration in my study, practice and teaching of yoga," she explains. "In the rush and frenzy of modern living, it allows me to access an inner joy that I know is my (and all of our) birthright."
Molly still practices law and is a partner in a local firm. She is one of two attorneys in the State of Vermont recently inducted into the American College of Mortgage Attorneys.