Former Athletics Director
LeRoy Washburn died peacefully in his home on April 13, 2019 surrounded by his family. LeRoy was a pillar of the St. Thomas University community both during and after his long career as Athletics Director.
LeRoy came to Fredericton to study after graduating from high school in Blackville. It was then that he met his best friend and wife of 63 years, Loretta. In 1959, LeRoy and his family moved to the newly created Town of Oromocto where he worked as the High School Phys Ed teacher, as well as the Recreational Director for the town.
LeRoy was appointed Athletics Director of St. Thomas in 1969 and held the position until 1999. Over his time at St. Thomas, LeRoy coached numerous teams and served as STU’s representative on the Atlantic University Athletic Association (now Atlantic University Sport) and the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union (now USPORTS).
As an educator he felt sports should be accessible to everyone. He was an avid believer in fitness and a tireless advocate for fairness and equality in sports at all levels. In his 30 years STU saw the emergence of competitive varsity women’s teams in volleyball, basketball, soccer, and rugby – programs that now boast a history of success. LeRoy was also a mentor and role model for generations of student athletes.
Beyond St. Thomas, LeRoy was a distinguished member of the sporting establishment in Canada and New Brunswick. Among many activities, he officiated at the Pan American Games, the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, and the World Cup. He also served as the Vice-President of the New Brunswick Special Olympics Association. In 1988 he was inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, in 2010 the St. Thomas University Sports Wall of Fame, and in 2014 into the Athletics Canada Hall of Fame. LeRoy served in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1974 to 1982 as a member for the constituency of Oromocto. He also served The Royal Canadian Legion Track and Field program for more than 60 years.
The impact of LeRoy’s work can still be felt on campus. To celebrate all he has done for the University, we present the LeRoy Washburn Award annually to the STU Tommies team that has made the most significant impact in the community. The last time we saw LeRoy at STU was at the Athletics Banquet on March 27 to present the award in his name.
To honour LeRoy’s memory and to continue his work supporting athletes we have established the LeRoy Washburn Memorial Scholarship Fund. If you would like to donate, please visit www.stu.ca/LeRoy.