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Jacqueline C. Leonard Honored at Catawba College with Shuford Award

May 12, 2004

Category: Alumni, Events


Jacqueline Cameron Leonard of Lexington received the Adrian L. Shuford, Jr. Award for Distinguished Service May 12 at Catawba College’s annual President’s Circle Dinner held on campus. The College hosts the event to recognize the college’s major donors and this year almost 300 people attended.

Catawba President Robert Knott. presented the award at the event held in the Cannon Student Center. The award is given each year to the individual who has played an outstanding role in supporting the college and its programs through their time, talent and resources. It was established in 1983 in honor of trustee emeritus Adrian L. Shuford, Jr. of Conover, who died in 2000.

In presenting the award to Leonard, Knott described her as “an individual who has enriched Catawba College and its community by her support, foresight, and financial contributions.” She served for a year in 1980 as first lady of the College, as her husband, the late Dr. Theodore Leonard, took the helm as the College’s 17th president.

Born in south Davidson County near Denton, Leonard has spent most of her life in that county employed as an educator. She attended High Point University before completing her undergraduate degree in home economics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Thereafter, she taught in schools in Nash and Davidson counties and in Lexington. She met her late husband, then a history teacher and an alumnus of Catawba, while instructing at Reeds High School in Davidson County, and the couple married in 1943. She retired from Lexington High School in the early 1960s. Although the Leonards had no children of their own, they instead parented the many students they discovered in the classroom.

At Catawba, Mrs. Leonard and her late husband established and funded several endowed scholarships and supported several of the College’s capital campaigns, including the recent $59.6 million Campaign for Catawba. The Leonard Lounge in the Cannon Student Center bears her surname as a tribute to her generosity. Recently, she made a substantial gift to fund landscaping at the College, improving the appearance around the Shuford Science Building, Hurley Hall, the Hayes Field House, the new Shuford Stadium and the walkway area between the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel and the Robertson College-Community Center.

Although Leonard is civic-minded, she prefers that attention not be focused on her good works. She is an active member of the First Reformed United Church of Christ in Lexington.

Leonard is the twenty-third recipient of the Shuford Award. Other recipients and the year in which they received the award include Dr. Theodore P. Leonard, 1983; Enoch A. Goodman, 1984; Clifford A. Peeler, 1985; James F. Hurley, 1986; Ralph W. Ketner, 1987; Elizabeth C. Stanback, 1988; Roy E. Leinbach, Jr., 1989; Frances H. Johnson, 1990; Patricia P. Rendleman, 1991; Mariam Cannon Hayes, 1992; Tom E. Smith, 1993; Claude S. Abernethy, Jr., 1994; Millard F. Wilson, 1995; Fred J. Stanback, Jr., 1996; Paul E. Fisher, 1997; Daniel E. Kirk, 1998; Mary O. Dearborn, 1999; Wilson L. Smith, 2000; Marion M. Richard, 2001; J. Fred and Bonnie Corriher, 2002; and William C. Stanback, 2003.