Leonards establish endowed professorship in math and science
September 15, 2011
St. Paul, Minn. – Mark G. Leonard ’65 and Candace Hewitt Leonard ’67 of Los Altos, Calif., have established a $2 million endowed professorship at Macalester College. It will be named the Mark G. Leonard and Candace Hewitt Leonard Endowed Professorship in Mathematics and the Natural Sciences.
The Leonards are dedicated supporters of the college’s comprehensive Step Forward campaign and longtime Macalester advocates. The professorship is the latest in a series of gifts that has enhanced Macalester’s campus immeasurably, from all three of the campaign’s building projects to scholarships that provide critical access and financial aid for the college’s diverse student body.
“Mark and Candy Leonard’s continuing generosity toward Macalester is both extraordinary and truly remarkable,” President Brian Rosenberg said. “Mathematics and the natural sciences have played an important role in their lives, so it only makes sense that they would choose that subject matter for the professorship.”
The professorship is indeed fitting, given the Leonard family’s academic history. Mark’s father, George Leonard ’27, was the first geology major in Macalester’s history, and his mother, Wilma Leonard ’27, majored in chemistry. Mark studied physics, and all three of Mark and Candy’s sons also pursued math and science in college. Their youngest son, James ’10, graduated from Macalester last May with a degree in mathematics.
“Many in our family have benefited from being educated at Macalester,” Mark and Candy said. “We feel privileged to be able to help others get the kind of education we did and make a difference in the world.”
Established through a personal gift from Mark and Candy, the fund will support a professor in mathematics and the natural sciences. At Macalester, those areas include: biology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, environmental studies, geology, mathematics, neuroscience, physics and astronomy, and statistics. The endowed professorship is being created through a planned gift that Macalester will receive in the future from a charitable remainder trust established by the Leonards.
In addition to majoring in physics, Mark minored in mathematics and Spanish at Macalester. He loved his work at the campus radio station, which was the steppingstone to a career in electronics and computer programming starting at Collins Radio Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Most of Mark’s career was spent at Hewlett Packard in Palo Alto, Calif., where he worked on optical position encoders used in inkjet printers. Those contributions resulted in four U.S. patents and a profitable product line. Mark retired from Hewlett Packard in 1998 and currently serves on Macalester’s Board of Trustees.
Candy came to Macalester from nearby Mahtomedi High School and studied psychology. After she graduated in 1967, she taught elementary school and was later active in parent organizations at her childrens’ schools. Candy is active in her church and has served on the board of the Morning Forum of Los Altos, an organization that brings both local and national speakers to that area of California. Last year, she finished a six-year term on Macalester’s Alumni Board. The Leonards maintain a close connection to their alma mater through frequent visits to campus and attendance at San Francisco alumni events.
Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,985 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement. Learn more at macalester.edu.