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In Memory Of Our Poets

Emily M. Reaves (Leischuck) (1938-2013) - Class Of 1956

1938 - 2013

Emily Mitchell Reaves Leischuck, former Auburn University administrator, active City of Auburn service volunteer and philanthropist passed away on April 19, 2013. A grave side service in Auburn's Town Creek Cemetery is scheduled for 11:30 a.m, Tuesday, April 23, with the Reverend George Matheson officiating. A reception at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center will follow the service.

Emily was preceded in death by her parents, Emily Tyson and Claude Mitchell Reaves, Jr., of Montgomery, Alabama, and is survived by her husband of 46 years, Dr. Gerald S. Leischuck.

Emily was born in Birmingham on September 6, 1938, spending early years there and in Tuscaloosa prior to locating with her parents in Montgomery in 1945. A 1956 Sidney Lanier High School graduate, she received a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Alabama in 1960, and subsequently was awarded a Master's degree by Auburn University where she also pursued doctoral studies.

A professional educator, Emily held public school teaching and counseling positions in the Autauga County and Auburn City schools prior to joining Auburn University in the Office of the Dean of Women as Panhellenic Advisor. Her service to Auburn University began in 1974, spanned more than twenty years, and was concluded by a 13-year period in the President's Office. There she served as Assistant to the President and Board of Trustees, with primary responsibility for planning, organizing and executing a wide variety of commemorative, ceremonial and social events. She worked closely with Auburn First Ladies, Polly Philpott, Kate Bailey, Ann Martin and Marlene Muse and their husbands while they served the University as President.

Emily's life is characterized by a warm, graceful and humane outward directed personality that endeared her to those around her. These traits and her work were recognized formally in 1996 when she was presented the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for her "continuing expression of those high qualities which ennoble and beautify living and bind man to man in mutual love and helpfulness." Her service to Auburn University and the broader community was more visibly commemorated in 1998 when Emily Reaves Leischuck Hall, a residence hall for women, was dedicated in her honor.

She devoted considerable time and energy to her numerous community and professional interests, which included the

  • United Way of Lee County
  • Auburn Beautification Council
  • Auburn Cemetery Trust
  • Lee County Humane Society
  • Auburn Water Board
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • PEO
  • American Association of University Women
  • Mortar Board Alumni
  • and the House Corporation of Alpha Beta Chapter of Chi Omega

groups in which she held numerous leadership positions.

She served for several years as a member of the Auburn University College of Education Advisory Council, and established scholarship programs at Huntingdon College, Birmingham Southern College, the University of Northern Colorado, and Auburn University, where she, together with her husband, also established and funded the Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching, two Emily and Gerald Leischuck professorships in the College of Education, and the Gerald and Emily Leischuck Annual Teaching Awards in Education.

Emily was inducted into membership of The George Petrie Society and the 1856 Society of the Auburn Alumni Association, was a member of the Athletics Department's All American Society, and was a member of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art Founder's Circle. A member of Phi Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi, Delta Kappa Gamma, and several other professional and philanthropic organizations. Emily also had been a director of Regions Bank of East Alabama. She was a life-long member of the Methodist Church.

In addition to her husband, Emily is survived by numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, as well as one brother-in-law, Robert L. Leischuck and three sisters-in-law Marjorie Balcerovich, Dorothy Leischuck and Geraldine Fleenor.

It was Emily's request that in lieu of flowers, memorials be directed to Auburn University in support of either the Leischuck-Reaves Endowment for Scholarships or the Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowment for Acquisitions in the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory Directing www.jeffcoattrant.com

Published in The Opelika-Auburn News on April 21, 2013