John F. “Jack” Leonard ’52

“Jack Leonard has always had a natural ability to ‘friend’ each and every classmate he talks to, using his God given grace and wisdom to act kindly to them in their time of need.  He has demonstrated the constant ‘man for others’ qualities imbedded in him for as long as I have known him.” 
“Jack Leonard has always had a natural ability to ‘friend’ each and every classmate he talks to, using his God given grace and wisdom to act kindly to them in their time of need.  He has demonstrated the constant ‘man for others’ qualities imbedded in him for as long as I have known him.” 

Classmate Joe McManus ’52 remarks about his long-time friend. For Jack this recognition and award is a lifelong achievement.   BC High classics teacher and Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications Bill Burke ’52 added, “Jack is the glue that keeps our class connected, and he has done so for more than 25 years.  His care for others is almost Christ-like. He is a man who gives without looking to receive anything in return.” Jack has been one of the key members of the class of 1952 that has helped to coordinate their bi-annual lunches at Amrhein’s restaurant in South Boston for more than twenty years.  These lunches have fostered a deep sense of brotherhood among the class. The loyalty among classmates and to BC High is a shining example of the strength of the alumni network.

In the summer of 1956 after graduating from Boston College, Jack entered Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island.  He served our country as an active duty Naval Aviator and in the Naval Reserve. Jack retired as a Commander in 1976.

Jack majored in marketing at Boston College and worked for many well know companies, such as Stop and Shop and General Cinemas. For Jack, the work was rewarding, but it was the volunteer opportunities to serve in those communities that truly fulfilled his career.  As Vice President of General Cinemas he joined an international trade association, traveling throughout the United States and Europe representing the industry. 

Just prior to his discharge from the Navy, he married his college sweetheart Janet (Brooks) Leonard.  They have been married for 56 years and together have five children and fourteen grandchildren. Jack’s loyalty goes beyond his family and his devotion to the greater community is unparalleled. For more than 25 years his commitment to Lasell College as a Board Member has helped many aspiring college students achieve their goal of higher education. Jack’s work at Lasell reaches beyond the board room to the senior housing village, where Jack is an active member of this life-long learning community. He has also served as a member of the Board of First Night Boston and City Year, mentoring young members of the organization.  

Jack, along with fellow classmates, helped to initiate and perpetuate the Class of 1952 Scholarship, which has awarded more than $64,000 in financial aid to deserving BC High students.  None of this would have happened without Jack’s positive energy and encouragement to others to give back to BC High and to give generously to help other students in need.
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