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Greg LeClair (‘77) recently completed his third and final term serving on the CWU Foundation Board, totaling nine years of service since he joined in 2012.

During those nine years, LeClair served on the finance committee and played a key role in the overall growth of the endowment.

“Bill Driver, fellow CWU baseball alum, had been encouraging me to consider joining the finance committee for the foundation,” said LeClair. “After several years of persistent encouragement, and our youngest daughter heading off to college, I agreed to meet with the Finance Committee Chair Skip Hayes. Ten minutes into the meeting, Skip shared that over 40 percent of the kids attending CWU were first generation students, which was me, and the meeting was over—I signed up.”

When LeClair began his first term, foundation reserves were at approximately $13 million, and he worked to grow the amount to approximately $52 million at his departure.

He says that upon joining the board, there was a fairly dramatic shift from viewing foundation assets through a shorter-term, more defensive lens, to a longer-term, more assertive/prudent lens.

“I think the first major change we experienced as a board was attitudinal—the most critical element in my opinion to consistently successful investment results,” said LeClair.

That shift was a significant driver of asset growth over the next nine years, and he says even more importantly, will continue into the future.

While the foundation experienced increased fundraising success, they also started acting as a business partner with the university to do things like set up a credit facility backed by foundation assets that provided resources for the construction of the Wildcat Commons Project, a project that began renovations on Tomlinson stadium.

“I feel we established the foundation to experience exciting, exponential growth and better deliver on the CWU promise to deserving students,” said LeClair. “My favorite part of serving on the board was the connection and community with both fellow board members and university leadership, as well as creating opportunity for deserving students that might not otherwise be available.”

Fellow CWU alumnus and current Foundation Board President Ralph Conner (’88) served on the finance committee with LeClair and says that working with him has been one of the highlights of his time on the board.

“Greg’s dedication, leadership, and insight have transformed how the foundation has been a steward of its assets and his vision and stewardship of funds have been phenomenal,” said Conner. “His enthusiasm is infectious for what the university is doing and his excitement to steward assets to the utmost benefit of the donors, foundation, and university will make us miss him tremendously, but he is an individual that we can always call upon.”

We thank Greg LeClair for the nine years he spent on the board and for the time and effort he volunteered to transform CWU and the student experience. The impact of his work is sure to be seen for generations of Wildcats to come.

Story by: Robin Burck

February 2022