Donor Valentines: Lisa and Phil Leibow

A marriage made in Thurston

The Leibow family
February 09, 2019

Lisa (Lipkind) Leibow, CCAS BA '88, knocked at the door on room 418 in Thurston Hall and made a love connection one day in September 1984. But it wasn’t quite so obvious from the start.

The GW sophomore who answered was not the friend she had come to see, but one of his roommates named Phil Leibow, GWSB BBA '87, MAccy '89. The two had never met. He was “dressed” only in a towel. It was hard to tell who felt more awkward, and the meeting ended quickly.

Sensing her embarrassment, Phil chased Lisa down the hall to her room.

“In spite of this creepy first impression,” says Lisa, “we became friends and then more.”

Their first date came a few months later, at a Halloween party sponsored by Phil’s fraternity, ZBT. They took just one class together during their time at GW - business law – likely on purpose.  

“For some reason we became competitive with each other and we may have ruined the curve,” says Phil, “as we both got nearly 100 on every test.” Lisa ultimately won, he says.

After graduating from GW, the couple moved to Boston, Mass, where they tied the knot on January 13, 1990. They eventually moved back to the D.C. area and raised three sons together - “our best work to date,” says Phil. They recently celebrated their 29th anniversary.

“It really has been an amazing partnership and marriage,” says Lisa.

Lisa and Phil have also stayed connected to GW throughout the years—taking their kids to basketball games, volunteering on committees, and giving back.

“[GW] is a big part of our community. Staying connected has enriched our lives through athletic, arts, and cultural events on campus,” explains Lisa. “We are fortunate that GW prepared us to be lifelong learners who have continued to grow and prosper. We want that opportunity for current and future generations - we care a lot about access to education, and the student experience, to prepare the next generation for the world to come. Giving back to GW is a great way to help.”

Read more about Lisa and Phil.