Susan Leslie ’73 Establishes Scholarship to Honor Mother’s Legacy

Susan Leslie ’73 recently established the Marian Lacy Endowed Scholarship in the College of Nursing to honor her mother’s memory. Marian Lacy was a force of nature, Leslie says.

Read about Mariia Nuzhnaia, the first recipient of the Marian Lacy Endowed Scholarship

Marian Lacy believed in giving back to the community. During World War II, she worked in the USO as a volunteer. She was a member of the Officers Wives Club, Jaycees Wives Club and a member of the Junior League of Greater Orlando, where she showed her ability of acting in the children’s plays which went around to the elementary schools in the late 50’s and 60’s. She was also the treasurer of the Bargain Box, a local nonprofit thrift store. She was a Girl Scout Cookie chairman for several years and served as a “Pink Lady” at ORMC for many years.

When Leslie was growing up in Massachusetts, she thought she wanted to be a nurse, but she spent her career as a teacher in secondary school.

She has always admired nurses, however, and said that most of her friends are either currently nurses or have been nurses. And throughout her life, during events like the birth of her two children, and, especially, when her mother passed away, Leslie felt that the nurses she encountered along the way went above and beyond for her.

“The nurses I’ve met have a remarkable combination of compassion and directness,” Leslie said. “And even now, when I go to visit friends who are in a nursing facility, they are always so pleasant to me, and I know how hard their job is.”

Her decision to establish the Marian Lacy Endowed Scholarship was inspired by the memory of her father, a decorated war veteran who believed in the power of education to change lives.

“He always told us that they can take anything away from you, but they can’t take an education away,” Leslie says. “And when I was teaching, I told my students that although they can take your money, take your car, they can never take away what is inside your mind.”

When Marian Lacy passed away in 2015, Leslie was also inspired to use some money that her mother had left her to establish the scholarship.

“My mother made a lot of sacrifices during her life for us,” Leslie says. “And with the money she left, I wanted to honor her memory by establishing this endowed scholarship that would continue to help students forever.”

In an endowed scholarship, funds are invested in perpetuity and the principal balance never changes, ensuring that the initial gift will continue to benefit students forever.

“I really just wanted to do some good for our students,” Leslie says. “I don’t need it, and I’d rather give somebody else a good foothold on life to help them through their tough times as a student.”

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