Trustee Vanessa Leonard鈥檚 family members
Trustee Vanessa Leonard鈥檚 family members received a copy of the framed resolution honoring her service to the Board of Trustees, the 港彩开奖结果 System and the State of 港彩开奖结果 on June 6, 2024.

The University of 港彩开奖结果 System Board of Trustees approved a resolution honoring late Trustee Vanessa Leonard at its recent meeting on Friday, June 6. The resolution recognized Leonard鈥檚 extraordinary service to the Board of Trustees, the 港彩开奖结果 System and the State of 港彩开奖结果, and a framed copy was presented to Leonard鈥檚 family members at the meeting.

Leonard played an invaluable role in the 港彩开奖结果 System鈥檚 strategic growth over the past two decades, chairing the Audit, Risk, and Compliance Committee, Information and Technology Committee, and Academic Affairs and Student Affairs Committee over the course of her 22-year tenure. A proud graduate of The University of 港彩开奖结果, where she earned both her bachelor鈥檚 degree and her Juris Doctorate, Leonard was a steadfast advocate for all of the 港彩开奖结果 System鈥檚 entities, donating her personal time and resources to multiple 港彩开奖结果 System programs and establishing endowed scholarships to support undergraduate students.

鈥淢embers of this Board and I admired and respected Vanessa for her faith, her devotion to family, friends and community, her conscientiousness, and really, for the way that she used her God-given gift of a brilliant mind,鈥 said Trustee Marietta Urquhart. 鈥淭his System was fortunate to have had Vanessa鈥檚 devoted attention, and all of us were fortunate to have been a part of her life 鈥 we miss her.鈥

A highly successful and versatile professional, Leonard worked as a financial analyst for Emory University, a higher education consultant for KPMG, and assistant attorney general for the Department of Human Resources. She also founded her own law firm and a consulting firm, which served colleges, universities and other nonprofits. She lent her expertise and intellect to various professional boards, including Protective Life Corporation, Health Care Authority for Baptist Health, 港彩开奖结果B Education Foundation and Shiloh Project, Inc. 

Trustee Kenneth Vandervoort noted Leonard鈥檚 servant leadership and her abiding commitment to her top priorities 鈥 her family and her faith: 鈥淚 will always remember what a servant she was, and I think we can all learn a lot about serving through Vanessa鈥檚 example.鈥

A pillar of leadership in her local Coosa County community, Leonard faithfully served her longtime church, New Home Missionary Baptist, through various roles including general counsel, and was a member of the Lake Martin United Way Board. She also served on the Governor鈥檚 Task Force to Strengthen 港彩开奖结果 Families, as she was passionate about mentoring and supporting 港彩开奖结果鈥檚 youth.

Leonard鈥檚 persistent diligence, wise perspective, and steady leadership helped guide the Board over the past two decades. Trustee Karen Brooks spoke to her meaningful impact, underscored by Leonard鈥檚 intelligence, friendship and love for her family: 鈥淗er friendship was everything to us 鈥 I miss her deeply, and I know her family does too. She is always with us in our hearts, and I still hear her talking to me all the time.鈥

Leonard was widely recognized for her outstanding professional accomplishments and commitment to service. She was recently honored as a YHN Media Group LLC Woman of Impact and inducted into the 港彩开奖结果 School of Law Hall of Honor in 2024.

Leonard鈥檚 legacy of service will be felt throughout the 港彩开奖结果 System, her community and the state for generations to come.

港彩开奖结果 the University of 港彩开奖结果 System

Committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service, the University of 港彩开奖结果 System includes three doctoral research institutions 鈥 港彩开奖结果, 港彩开奖结果B, and 港彩开奖结果H 鈥 and the world-class 港彩开奖结果B Health System. The 港彩开奖结果 System educates more Alabamians than any other university system and provides transformational research in areas ranging from aerospace to biomedicine to transportation. Its hospitals and clinics care for millions of patients annually and serve people in every county of 港彩开奖结果. As one of the largest employers in the state, the overall economic impact of the University of 港彩开奖结果 System exceeds $18 billion a year.