H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest received his B.A. in economics from Washington and Lee in 1953. At W&L, Lenfest was a four-year member of the soccer team, the Forensic Union, and Sigma Chi fraternity. He spent the next two years after W&L in the U.S. Navy before enrolling in Columbia University's law school. Upon graduation in 1958 with an LL.B., Mr. Lenfest joined the New York law firm of Davis, Polk & Wardwell.
As an attorney, Mr. Lenfest gravitated toward the field of communications. In 1965, he became associated counsel for Triangle Productions, Inc. and later became managing director of Triangle's Communications Division, which included Seventeen magazine and the company's cable television subsidiaries.
In 1973, Mr. Lenfest and two other investors purchased the Lebanon, Pa. cable television system from Walter Annenburg, president of Triangle. The Lenfest group operates cable systems in the San Francisco bay area and in metropolitan areas of Philadelphia and Lancaster, Pa.
Mr. Lenfest was elected to Washington and Lee's Board of Trustees in 1988. That same year, he and his wife Marguerite donated the major funding to the new center for the performing arts that bears their name. When the need arose for a new art and music facility Gerry and Marguerite once again stepped forward with the lead gift to an already grateful University, this time insisting that the building’s name bear that of former W&L President John Wilson and his wife Anne.
Marguerite B. Lenfest is a graduate of Wilson College with a B.A. in sociology. Currently secretary and treasurer for the Lenfest Group, she has been actively involved with the company since its founding. She has maintained an active role in the operations of Surburban Cable TV Co., Inc. in Sellersville, Pa. and in the financial planning for all the operations of the Lenfest Group. The Lenfests have three children: Diane, Chase and Brook.
"[The Lenfest Center] promises to enrich the learning experience at the university and provide the surrounding region with a contemporary, state-of-the-art facility for music, drama, and dance." -- H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest