Since first joining the college in 1994 to her retirement in March 2013, Suzie Leslie guided countless students from freshman orientation to graduation. As the college’s coordinator of undergraduate advising, she helped students navigate through the challenges of course selections, changing majors, and credit requirements, while ensuring they were able to graduate on time. Along the way, she developed personal relationships with hundreds of students, many of whom keep in touch with her long after graduation.

Suzie herself had been a master’s student in the college midway through her career, so she knew full well the trials and tribulations faced by students. “She bent over backwards, to put it mildly, to make sure her advisees were on a career path that fit them,” said Dean Stauffer, associate dean for academic affairs. “Suzie truly took care of students and did so at the highest level of excellence.”

Her legacy to the college carries on not only in the many students she advised. Suzie planned and planted (and still maintains!) the butterfly garden outside the entrance to Cheatham Hall; her garden plan has since been replicated elsewhere on campus. In addition, she and her husband have willed part of their estate to the college to create a future outdoor environmental center on campus. Suzie, an avid kayaker and birdwatcher, is also a master gardener and master naturalist, and devotes time to a number of volunteer organizations.