Roxane Leopold honored with Champlain College Distinguished Citizen Award

first_imgBURLINGTON, Vt.–At Champlain College’s Convocation ceremony on the afternoon of September 10, President David F. Finney bestowed the College’s 2007 Distinguished Citizen Award on Roxane Leopold, the former executive director of the King Street Youth Center in Burlington.The award is given annually by the College to a person who displays exceptional personal and professional achievement, a strong record of community service, and dynamic leadership based on equal parts intelligence and wit, creativity and humility.Finney told Champlain freshmen, faculty and staff that what distinguishes Leopold is the spirit she brought to King Street during her 22 years of leadership. “Roxane’s genuine love for her fellow human beings and her devotion to children became the core of the King Street Youth Center, and gave that space life and a sense of being,” he said.The King Street Youth Center provides early education programs, after-school programs, mentoring and teen programs to youngsters from a variety of backgrounds including new immigrants. Leopold’s accomplishments included a capital campaign in 1992 that raised more than $1.6 million in just eight months, and enabled the Center to move to, refurbish and expand its current location. Leopold’s colleagues say that she fervently believes in the strengths and abilities that each child and family possesses. Through her philosophy of caring, Leopold inspired children, families and her staff to maintain their dogged determination to continue their work.Champlain College Trustee Holly Miller said, “Roxane helped people understand that an investment in children is an investment in the future of our community. She was able to bring these children into the eyes of the community, as well as bring the community into their eyes.””Her profound depth of knowledge and caring for children made her both a risk taker and a pioneer,” Miller said. “Long before ‘mentoring’ became part of the lexicon, Roxane had already mentored us.”In remarks delivered at the Convocation ceremony, Leopold reminded the students that they were among a privileged group to be earning a higher education and that “to whom much is given, much is expected.” She urged students to follow their bliss and stay focused while discovering their own ‘equipoise’ — a state of balance and equilibrium in their lives.After more than 20 years of service, Leopold stepped down two months ago as executive director of the King Street Youth Center. She is a resident of Burlington.# # #last_img