Renardo “Rick” Anthony Hall ’72 was the first Black student to serve as Leo’s student body president. In keeping with his penchant for bringing people together, he was heavily involved with the planning of his class of ’72 50-year reunion last year, but he suffered a sudden, fatal heart attack mere weeks before the event. Rick had a positive impact on thousands of lives throughout his career in higher education. His widow Alisha and family have been invited to this year’s banquet to accept Rick’s Hall of Fame plaque.
Fred Nelson III ’77 got his start in music long before he arrived at Leo—his dad, Fred Nelson Jr., was a popular keyboardist, and Little Fred was first exposed to the instrument while sitting in his dad’s lap. After leaving Leo he embarked on a career as a performer, later branching out into arranging and producing for such legends as Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Jennifer Hudson and Celine Dion. On the side, Fred worked for several ad agencies, writing and producing commercials for, among others, McDonald’s, Polaroid, Coca-Cola and United Airlines. The give-back gene is active within Fred; in addition to his musical pursuits, he serves as Artistic Director to the students of School District 162 in Matteson, IL. Like Principal Rawls, he has been recognized as a Chicago Defender Man of Excellence.
Bill Holland ’73, Leo football standout and student body president, left us last June. He remained a Leo Man long after graduation, engaged and active with the Alumni Association, a regular at Leo events, a member of the school’s advisory board. And his family kept Bill’s Leo Spirit alive after his death, requesting donations to the Leo Scholarship Fund in lieu of flowers. The response was so generous that one sophomore—a former student of Bill’s teacher/daughter Mary Kate—is attending Leo on scholarship. And a second student will be selected for another Bill Holland Scholarship this fall, a life-changing experience for two deserving young men who might have been hard-pressed to attend Leo were it not for the generosity of Bill’s family and his countless friends. Facta non Verba indeed.