University of St. Francis names, dedicates the Leach College of Nursing

The University of St. Francis has named its College of Nursing in honor of long-time supporters who have helped made the dream of nursing a reality for countless students. The university community dedicated the Cecily & John Leach College of Nursing on Nov. 7 in front of a group of invited guests.

The Leaches’ legacy at the university is closely tied to the creation of a scholarship for nursing students. The Cecily and John Leach Nursing Scholarship, established in 1989, is awarded each semester to nursing students that have financial need and are in good academic standing.

leach dedication “The Leach College of Nursing will serve as an extension of the Leaches’ compassion to the Joliet community and the world,” President Michael Vinciguerra said. “We all are grateful to the Leaches for their generosity and desire to support our nursing students who are compassionate caregivers.” Together, John and the late Cecily Leach helped shape the landscape of Joliet through the many homes developed through their business, Leach Homes. Their commitment, though, went beyond offering affordable housing options to thousands of families; they helped shape the community by supporting education and health care.

“Cecily and John modeled their lives on Franciscan values,” Vinciguerra said. “Besides supporting the education of nursing students, they have built parks, restored historic sites, maintained pioneer cemeteries and contributed to numerous charities.”

Cecily Leach also served as a member of the university’s Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2010.