Endowment honoring longtime Centenary professors raises over $35,000

Centenary president Dr. Christopher L. Holoman, Dr. Ed Leuck, and lead donor Dr. David King at the endowment signing ceremony.


November 15, 2016

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Drs. Ed and Beth Leuck Endowed Scholarship was established in May 2016 to honor Centenary biology professors Dr. Ed and Dr. Beth Leuck, both of whom dedicated over 35 years to the College and its students. Dr. Beth retired in June 2016 and Dr. Ed will retire at the end of the fall 2016 semester.

The endowment agreement was formally signed in a ceremony on October 28 during Centenary’s Homecoming weekend with Centenary president Dr. Christopher L. Holoman, lead donor Dr. David King, and Dr. Ed Leuck in attendance. Dr. Beth Leuck participated in the ceremony via Skype. To date, 27 donors have contributed $35,528 in gifts and pledges to the scholarship that will help support future generations of Centenary biology students.

“My favorite classes at Centenary were taught by Beth and Ed Leuck - Ecology and Animal Behavior. There was so much passion in the classroom because they loved teaching and they loved the material,” says scholarship donor and former student Sarah Myers-Lee. “They fostered a deeper appreciation of my surrounding environment, from the smallest critters to the grand live oak trees (known as Quercus virginiana). It is an honor to have the chance to share their name with future Centenary students, continuing the Leuck legacy for years to come.”

The Leucks joined the Centenary faculty together in 1980. The Centenary arboretum was renamed The Ed Leuck Academic Arboretum in 2011 in recognition of Dr. Ed Leuck’s care and guidance since its establishment in 1984. Dr. Beth Leuck pioneered the Science Division’s adoption of studio-format teaching, which integrates lecture and laboratory exercises and promotes group learning.  Centenary was the first undergraduate institution in the United States to incorporate studio format teaching into all of its introductory-level biology classes. In recognition of their dedication to undergraduate biology education, Ed and Beth both have been named Outstanding Teacher of the Year, an honor determined through a Centenary-wide voting process and given to acknowledge devotion to excellence in the classroom.

“The Leucks have been constant mentors and through my 13 years at Centenary have made me a better professor and colleague,” says Dr. Scott Chirhart, Chair of the Biology Department. “I can never thank them for all they have done for me and the department. I thank all of the donors for contributing to this scholarship to forever have the Leucks’ names associated with Centenary.”

“I am both honored and humbled that my former students would be this generous to Centenary College in my name,” says Dr. Beth Leuck. “Teaching at Centenary has, for me, always been about the students. I loved watching them develop and mature from their freshman to senior year and then go on to excel at a chosen profession. I am so proud of them when they do that, and this scholarship validates how I feel about them."

Centenary alumni and friends who wish to contribute to the Leuck Endowment can visit centenary.edu/give or call 800.259.6447.

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