April 30, 2019Print | PDF
Family, friends and colleagues are preparing to say goodbye to Leanne Holland Brown, the dean of students for Laurier’s Waterloo campus who died April 24 as the result of a traffic accident.
Visitations take place Tuesday, April 30 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday, May 1 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Erb and Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S. in Waterloo. A celebration of life will take place Thursday, May 2 beginning at 3:30 p.m. at Creekside Church, 660 Conservation Dr. in Waterloo.
To help manage the large turnout expected at the celebration of life, please note that the service will also be live-streamed and can be watched remotely via computer starting at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Members of the Laurier community have been invited by Martin Luther University College to watch the service together in the Keffer Memorial Chapel on the Waterloo campus.
Laurier would also like to confirm that the university will be hosting an on-campus celebration of Leanne’s life and legacy this coming fall when the majority of students are back on campus.
Known for her extraordinary kindness and compassion, Holland Brown's death has been felt deeply throughout the Laurier community.
"I think if we look to the ideal of we want a Golden Hawk to be, that is Leanne," said Samantha Estoesta, a former colleague who credits Holland Brown with offering her mentorship and support through difficult times. "You’re never going to find another Leanne and I think that’s what’s most heartbreaking. Leanne was the heart of Laurier."
Holland Brown left an indelible mark during her nearly 15 years at Laurier, the last nine as dean of students on the Waterloo campus. Known for the empathy and caring she brought to the role, Holland Brown was passionate about student wellness and academic success. She strove to ensure students had the best possible experience at Laurier, working directly with students and their families, as well as serving as a resource for faculty and staff members.
Holland Brown also helped drive policy changes and the creation of programs to support students in need. Those programs included the Blue Folder Initiative, a guide to help faculty and staff members concerned about a student's well-being, and mental health training for staff and faculty members.
“Leanne was a loving and compassionate individual who embodied the Laurier spirit and sense of community,” said Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Deborah MacLatchy. “She enriched the lives of all who had the privilege of knowing her and she will be deeply missed.”
Prior to her appointment as Waterloo campus dean of students in 2010, Holland Brown served as manager of Laurier's Student Leadership Centre from 2007 to 2010 and as a student life coordinator at Conestoga College from 2005 to 2007. She also worked in Laurier’s Residence Life department from 2000 until 2003.
A graduate of the University of Waterloo, Holland Brown also held a Bachelor of Education from Brock University and Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University.
She is survived by her husband, Ken, and two sons, Holden and Andrew.
A memorial fund has been established in Holland Brown’s name to honour her legacy at Laurier. Donations to the fund will directly support Laurier students, with specifics to be determined by Holland Brown’s family. Visit www.laurieralumni.ca/leanne for more information.
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