Lily Weaver Perseverance Award: Lancer Media creates recognition in memoriam

“This fight will be with me forever, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.” – Lily Weaver


Courtesy of Victor O'Neill Studios

Lily Weaver shares a laugh with a student at Prom 2019.

by Ethan Hart and Lilly Hart

We at The Lance are deeply saddened by the news of former Managing Editor Lily Weaver’s passing on December 20, 2019. As a member of Lancer Media from 2016 to 2019, Weaver was an integral part of making The Lance a Student Newspaper Online (SNO) Distinguished Site for four consecutive years. To memorialize Lily’s outstanding contributions to the program, the staff of Lancer Media has created an award to keep her spirit alive: Lily Weaver’s Perseverance Award.

Lily Weaver’s Perseverance Award will be given to one student who writes for The Lance in either semester of the school year. The recipient will be a journalist who demonstrates grit, perseverance and resolve by consistently meeting deadlines, volunteering to help others, and performing to the best of their ability. This student should inspire their classmates to give back and to be selfless, just as Lily was. The recipient should have created content through different mediums such as articles,videos, and podcasts, and should write and record about deeply researched  and diverse topics.

These qualities embody the journalist and person that Lily was. Class of 2019 graduate and former Editor for The Lance Catie Jo Tansey praised Lily’s participation. “Lily was hard working and always made sure everything she did was to the best of her ability. She also had very strong people skills, which allowed her to excel in interviews. She had a natural speaking voice that made her great at podcasts, too.”

Weaver was a multi-faceted journalist who created content ranging from podcasts to videos and articles. Despite being absent much of her high school years in her battle against Ewing’s Sarcoma, her staff profile shows that Weaver contributed 36 published works.

Some of her best stories were inspired by her battle with cancer. “Love somebody? Love Your Melon warms the head and the heart” was featured on the Best of SNO website and garnered thousands of views.

Former Editor-in-Chief and Class of 2018 alumni Bridget Murphy said, “Lily and I always had so much fun. Whether the situation was serious or comical, there were always jokes and laughter the whole time. She really knew how to brighten a room.”

Weaver also used her position to advocate for the support of childhood cancer research across the country. Articles such as “Surviving Cancer: Children are dying, don’t you care?” and “Surviving Cancer: Witnessing to the truth and raising awareness for CureFest” expanded readers’ understanding of issues they weren’t aware of.  

Lily’s diversity was apparent through her occasional production and hosting of Lancer Media podcasts. An avid fan and friend of pop superstar Ariana Grande, Weaver’s podcast titled “Battle of the Fans–Who is better? Swift or Grande” with Mallory Maher set a class standard for what quality podcasts should sound like. Weaver also took an in-depth look into TrueAP, an athletic performance company that trains sports team in Maryland and Virginia, in her podcast “Lancer Media Sports Podcast Episode 2: ‘The TrueAP Advantage’.”

With input from student members of the Quill and Scroll Honor Society, advisor Natalie Rebetsky and Principal Nancy Doll will choose the first recipient.  The recipient will be honored at the end of year awards ceremonies.

The staff of Lancer Media engaged in many discussions about the criteria and hopes this award will continue Lily’s legacy of perseverance to inspire other journalism students that will come after her. Her inspiration left an impact on all of those who worked with her.

“Lily’s positive attitude and love of life was what inspired me. No matter what, she woke up with a smile and was able to accomplish everything she needed to despite going through so much. She never complained, and was an amazing friend,” said Tansey.

Murphy said,  “I am so excited for this award to be put in place. Lily’s legacy will be more than just our memories, and this helps reassure that. Her battle against childhood cancer will continue throughout the community that loved her.”