Honorary Degree Citation: Marcelle Pomerleau Leahy

As a prominent member of the Vermont community who believes in giving back generously, you have inspired generations of Vermonters.

A first-generation American citizen born in Newport, Vermont, with French Canadian roots, you received your RN from the Jeanne Mance School of Nursing in Burlington. Since then, you have served society as a skilled and experienced nurse in Vermont, Washington, DC, and Virginia.

Following in the Vermont tradition, you are deeply involved in your local and national community in many other ways. As the honorary chair of the Vermont National Guard Family Readiness and Support Program, you work to educate and support the families of Guard members. You also serve on the boards of the Washington National Opera and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences of the University of Vermont. You are active with the Spouses of the Senate chapter of the American Red Cross.

Even more personally, your experience as a melanoma survivor and knowledge as a nurse have inspired you to speak publicly about your cancer, cancer prevention, and the importance of preventive and healthful practices. You serve on the board of Tracy’s Kids, a pediatric art therapy program helping young cancer patients and their families cope with cancer and its treatment, and are a sustaining director of the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

On top of all this you have been a steadfast partner and supporter of Vermont’s longest-serving senator, with whom you celebrated your 50th anniversary in 2012. You’ve travelled the world together, most recently to Cuba, and you’ve made friends of world leaders and humanized diplomacy with your warmth and grace.

Marcelle Pomerleau Leahy, for your life of public service for the benefit of Vermonters and Americans, in keeping with the ideals of Marlboro College, it is our pleasure to confer upon you the degree: Doctor of Humane Letters.