in memoriam

Leanne “Le” Freas Trout ’50, P’74, G’99, G’01, G’06

Leanne “Le” Freas Trout ’50, P’74, G’99, G’01, G’06, a passionate champion of Bucknell’s French & Francophone studies program, passed away Feb. 9 in Fort Myers, Fla.

For more than 50 years, Trout poured her heart into her alma mater, endowing multiple scholarships, giving enthusiastically to capital projects and cheering on the Orange and Blue through her generosity to Bison Athletics in honor of her late husband, David ’50, P’74, G’99 G’01, G’06.

But her most significant impact will forever be felt in the Department of French & Francophone studies.

“Le’s support truly transformed the department,” said Mark Elliott P’07, senior gift officer and friend. “She would come to us and say, ‘I want to make it better. What can we do to do that?’ and the department and faculty stepped up to that challenge.”

Through the David Morton and Leanne Freas Trout Professorship in French & Francophone studies — Bucknell’s first endowed faculty professorship in languages — her legacy and love for French live on.

“Beyond the scholarship and professorship, she made a gift that is really an all-encompassing fund,” Elliott said. “It brings in outside lecturers, extends students’ travel-abroad experiences, allows for faculty scholarship — it really is an astounding thing.”

“She was one of my favorite people,” said Elliott. “She was 93 going on 16 — vivacious and always excited about what was coming next.”

In her philanthropy, Trout followed the example of her father, the late A. Guy Freas H’57, P’48, P’50, a Bucknell trustee. A gift he made in 1965 to honor his wife, Elizabeth Koons Freas, funded construction of Freas Hall, current site of the Office of Admissions. In 2003, the Leanne Freas Trout Auditorium in the Vaughan Literature Building was dedicated in Trout’s honor for the years of loyalty, service, time and leadership she and her family have devoted to Bucknell.

She is survived by her daughter, Dee Trout Ledgerwood ’74, P’99, P’01, P’06, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.