Former Marlin Chronicle editor, ’97, revered after fatal accident

KAITLYN DOZIER
Editor in Chief

Supermom. Committed. Magnificent as a person, parent and student.

With so much admiration, Jennifer Bush Lawson, class of 1997, truly was the epitome of the type of graduate Virginia Wesleyan aspires to develop.

On Feb. 24, Lawson died in Arlington from injuries sustained in a traffic accident. The legacy she left on this college and her community will continue to positively influence the lives of so many people.

“She was a beautiful person, very humble and never judgmental,” said alumni Kristen Winkler Cayton, also class of 1997. “She was genuinely kind to every person she met.”

Lawson, fondly known on campus as Jenn Bush, excelled as Editor in Chief of the Marlin Chronicle in the mid-1990s.

“We bonded while spending many hours in the old Marlin Chronicle office that was in Village I,” said Cayton, who also worked for the student-run newspaper. “We worked really hard to make the paper the very best it could be at that time, and we had fun doing it.”

A journalism major, Lawson graduated in 1997 with Summa Cum Laude honors. She began her career as a media relations specialist at the Association of American Medical Colleges. Lawson then worked for Edelman Public Relations before becoming a senior associate at Schmidt Public Affairs in Alexandria.

“Jenn was beyond an outstanding student,” said former Marlin Chronicle advisor and Professor of Journalism, Dr. William Ruehlmann. “She was an outstanding individual. She had a giving heart and a laughing spirit.”

Lawson, 39, is survived by her husband, Neal Lawson, and their three young children.

“Her examples of moral courage, unswerving citizenship, faithfulness to family and instinctive support of the underdog remain encouragements to all who knew her, and we will never, never forget her,” said Ruehlmann.

“She was a wonderful friend, more like a sister to me, and she was an incredible mom,” said Cayton. “I will cherish the time we had together, and it all started at Virginia Wesleyan.”

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