Upon graduation, Richard LeBeau will certainly leave behind a legacy. Colgate’s communication systems, several diverse campus groups and the larger Colgate community have all benefited from LeBeau’s work on campus and beyond.
Working with the Center for Outreach and Volunteer Education (COVE) at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees was LeBeau’s first “eye-opening” experience, exposing the need for Colgate to extend its community service boundaries.
“Utica has 60,000 people total,” LeBeau said, “and 10,000 of them are refugees” from over 26 countries. Hoping to initiate a refugee-tutoring program at Colgate, he anticipates helping to educate refugee students placed in age-dependent and not skill-dependent grades.
As president of the Rainbow Alliance, LeBeau is dedicated to supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) students on campus by enhancing diversity and visibility across the community. When it comes to this group, LeBeau notes that the Colgate community has come a long way since his freshman year.
“Instead of being only student-led,” LeBeau said, “now the faculty and staff have gotten involved.” As a result of an alumni donation, the LBGTQ has a bigger budget than every before to coordinate events. LeBeau and fellow LGBTQ seniors hope to leave a legacy of being proactive as they attempt to create a community that fulfills many different groups’ needs.
LeBeau is also a member of Konosioni, which comes as no surprise to anyone who has been in a class with this forward-thinking student, who is conducting a senior thesis in Psychology on sexual coercion. LeBeau also participates in Men Advocating Change, and has been a Resident Advisor (RA) for the past three years as well as a Community Coordinator of the Townhouses.
To those still finding their way at Colgate, LeBeau urges you not to become overextended. “Participate in a couple of things that really matter to you and do them well. Leave a legacy, make a change. Don’t give two percent at 100 things, give 100 percent at two things.” LeBeau smiled. “You don’t want to be half way through your senior year and wonder if your involvement has made any impact. It’s so short – if you’re going to be spending time away from friends and academics, make it count.” LeBeau involvement will certainly leave an enduring legacy here at Colgate.