One of the College of Public Health’s dedicated supporters, Lee Bird Leavengood, was recently honored as the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient by USF’s Women in Leadership and Philanthropy for her commitment and dedication in making a lasting impact on the university community and citizens. An important part of that commitment includes her inspirational support of COPH through the Lee Leavengood Senior Program Endowed Scholarship.
The Lee Leavengood Senior Program Endowed Scholarship was established in July 1995 because of Lee’s desire to encourage students who are studying for careers in the field of aging, an area of personal interest to her. With a professional career spanning nearly three decades at USF, Lee spearheaded the USF Division of Senior Programs and initiated and coordinated three major senior programs in the greater Tampa Bay area: USF SeniorNet Learning Center, USF Learning in Retirement Institute (an affiliate of Elderhostel Institute Network) and the Tuition Waiver Program for Senior Citizens.
As a leader in lifelong education, Lee was involved in the early years of USF to ensure that non-traditional-aged students, especially women, had access to the wealth of higher education resources that USF made available to the Tampa Bay community. She is a past director of both the Division of Senior Programs in Educational Outreach and the Division of Lifelong Learning in Continuing Education, and finished her career at USF as assistant director for the USF Institute on Aging.
Lee has been involved at USF as a volunteer, a board member of the USF Foundation, a significant donor to the College of the Arts, and as an administrator. Following her career at USF, she has served in the education department at the Tampa Bay History Center since its opening in 2005.
It is no surprise that Lee would be selected as an honoree by WLP for her community involvement, as her contributions have also been recognized by many throughout the Tampa Bay area. She has previously been honored with the USF President’s Fellow Medallion, the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction Award, the USF Distinguished Citizens Award, and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Community Hero Award. She is a member of the USF Town and Gown and the Athena Society.
Lee Bird Leavengood makes USF and the surrounding Tampa Bay community a better place to live and work because of her extraordinary commitment to service. She is truly an inspiration to others.
Story by Carol Wight, USF Foundation. Photos courtesy of USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy.
2014 WLP Symposium photo gallery on Facebook