In Memoriam: F.K. Lehman: Memories

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"Kris Lehman was a joy to know, a wonderful mentor (as I gather), a brilliant scholar with an idiosyncratic personality and a great, selfless leader of the Burma Studies Foundation. He will be sorely missed. My condolences to Sheila and the rest of his family."
Paul Sarno (Burma Studies Foundation trustee)


Dr. Lehman with U Nu, his son, Mark, and his wife Sheila Lehman, 1970. (Photograph by Michael Aung-Thwin, Burma Studies Foundation trustee)


Frederic Kris Lehman (U Chit Hlaing): Anthropologist and Teacher.

A collection of personal remembrances and reflections by some of his former students. © 2007 by John Gatewood.


"Herewith is a photo taken in 1973 by Robert Wessing of Kris "holding forth" in the Department Office area of Davenport Hall at the U. of I. This is the way Kris looked when many of us first got to know him -- dressed in his "English" attire and smoking the ever-present Sumatra wrapper cigar. (Incidentally, that's Hal Ross in the foreground on the right, with Jorge Marcus, and Brett Williams behind.)"

John Gatewood (Lehigh University, U. of I. Alumnus)


"I have many fond memories of Dr. Lehman from my years at University of Illinois working on my MA/PhD. One of my favorites was returning from USSR, walking into the computer lab, and having him tell me, “My God, you’ve gained weight.” It was true, but it made me giggle inside because it was something that only someone like Dr. Lehman could get away with. I loved his stories, his accent, and how he always made me feel less homesick. He lives on in my memories."

Suzanna Hernandez (Community Education Director, NMSU Carlsbad)


If you would like to contribute photographs or memories of Dr. Lehman to this page, please email CBS' Collections Assistant, Markie at