Seeking the ultimate college experience as a freshman in the late 1970s, Scott LeRoy decided he needed to immerse himself in campus life by moving into his fraternity house.
"At that time, almost no one from Chattanooga lived on campus. I remember I had to get permission from the dean of students. He told me it was probably a mistake and that it pretty much assured I wouldn't graduate, but he approved it. I think it motivated me to prove him wrong," said LeRoy, now a lawyer with LeRoy Hurst & Bickerstaff.
LeRoy not only graduated in three years, he became a student leader during his years at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He served as Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity president, a member of Interfraternity Council and Student Orientation Board -- all while working 25 to 30 hours a week.
And he's still enjoying that ultimate college experience as an alumnus.
LeRoy is UTC's new alumni board president. He also has a seat on the Tennessee Alumni Association Board of Governors.
In addition to managing a law practice that covers a wide range of business ventures, insolvency matters, commercial litigation and small estate planning, he has served on the boards of READ Chattanooga, St. Barnabus Nursing Home, Siskin Children's Institute and is treasurer of the MidSouth Commercial Law Institute's board.
"The strengths Scott brings to the alumni board are his engagement in the community, his experience in serving and leading boards, and his accessibility," said Jayne Holder, UTC director of alumni affairs.
"Scott is always willing to represent the university whenever called upon. He is so connected with the university," she said.
- Hometown: Chattanooga.
- Education: East Ridge High
School, bachelor's degree in account-
ing from UTC, juris doctorate from UT
College of Law
- Occupation: In private law practice
since 1983, member of LeRoy Hurst &
- Practices: Business, commercial and bank-
- Hobbies: Travel, canoeing, fishing, farming, car-
pentry and building. "I filled my passport in nine years."
- Family: He and wife Mary have two children, two grand-children.
- People would be surprised to know: I'm left-handed and can only do certain things right-handed.
Holder said "engagement" is the buzzword among alumni this year; reconnecting graduates living in Chattanooga with their alma mater. An example, she said, is Breakfast With the Chancellor, an event at which the chancellor visits local companies employing UTC graduates.
LeRoy said his focus on the alumni board will be to find ways to link the campus and community.
Q: What do you hope to add to this effort?
A: With our theme of engagement, we're trying to find new ways to get the alumni board more directly involved in linking the university and different parts of the community. Trying to get some of the engineering alumni together with VW and Alstom management. Trying to get faculty directly involved with the community.
The alumni board is really plugged in, but we're not taking advantage of how well-placed our alums are in the community and adding that resource back to the university. So we'll try to build those partnerships.
Q: What prompted you to choose UTC as an undergraduate?
A: No one in my family had gone to college. Both my parents encouraged me to go to college, and my grandmother was absolutely determined that somebody in our family was going to graduate from college, and I was the last hope.
Like many from working families in the 1970s, I looked at what was close to home and affordable, but I wanted the full college experience.
Q: Why did you agree to serve on the alumni board?
A: I wanted to try to contribute to the growth and success of the university. I plan to stay in Chattanooga. My family is mostly in Chattanooga; most of my work and clients are in this area. So having a great university at home is very important to the quality of life for all.
Q: Favorite Mocs moment?
A: I'm not sure it is "moment," but I would have to say I loved everything about being involved with the fraternities and sororities while I was on campus. Many of my best friends today are people I knew from being involved with both.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...