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Dr. Thomas Hale Leech

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Dr. Thomas Hale Leech, age 66, died April 25, 2014, at his home in Highland Heights, KY. He was an Associate Professor of German and a member of the community at Northern Kentucky University. He is survived by his sister, Collier Leech Weeks, brother-in-law, William Weeks, of Winston- Salem, NC, and nephew, Christopher Weeks, of Phoenix, AZ. Dr. Leech earned his BA degree at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1969, MA degree from Middlebury College in 1979, and a PhD from University of Texas, Austin, in 1985. He was the recipient of a Fullbright Fellowship and studied at Karl-Franzens-Universitat, Graz, as well as Johannes-Gutenburg-Universitat, Mainz. He served in the US Army from 1970-1972, during which time he was stationed in Mannheim, Germany and worked as a translator. Prior to coming to Northern Kentucky University in 1991, he taught on both the secondary and undergraduate levels at a variety of institutions. He also had experience in areas outside of academia. Throughout his career as a teacher, he continued his own involvement with German literature in research and presented numerous articles and reviews. His efforts at NKU emphasized improving students' language skills as well as strengthening the German program as a whole. Starting in 2005, Dr. Leech helped develop an alternative certification program for Kentucky teachers in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin and Spanish. The institute, ISIWLT (Intensive Summer Institute for World Language Teachers), held on the NKU campus, was funded at the state and national level for many years due to the grants that he co-wrote. He served as the sole director of the ISIWLT program from 2008 through 2013. Dr. Leech also acted as College Coordinator for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program for NKU, helping to bring dozens of German exchange students to the university. Formerly the Language Program Coordinator, he had remained active with the German Club, weekly Kaffeestunde, German film showings, and more. He was a dedicated professor, a mentor to students, and he held great compassion for animals, most especially cats. A memorial service will be held in the George and Ellen Rieveschl Digitorium in Griffin Hall (GH 200) on the campus of Northern Kentucky University on Friday, May 9, from 1:30-3:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Stray Animal Adoption Agency, PO Box 72040, Newport, KY 41072, or to the Department of World Languages and Literatures FLAIS (Foreign Language Award for International Study). To make donations to FLAIS, please visit Choose "Other" under Donation Information and give the following designation under "Comments": 0733008000 Foreign Language Study Abroad Award

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Published in the Kentucky Enquirer on May 4, 2014
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