Mary and Susan Leinback Memorial Nursing Scholarship

Bruce and Linda Leinback Create NFCC Scholarship to honor family, help Jefferson County Students

Linda and Bruce Leinback 2018When Bruce and Linda Leinback decided to develop an endowed scholarship at North Florida Community College, they knew it would focus on nursing, be offered to a Jefferson County resident and be named to honor the memory of two very special people.  

The Mary and Susan Leinback Memorial Nursing Scholarship was established in memory of Bruce’s mother and sister. His mother, Mary Duff Burt Leinback (1920-2008), was an Army nurse in World War II, serving in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in England, where she cared for wounded soldiers. A native of Alberta, Canada, Mary moved to Englewood in Southwest Florida with her husband, Arlo, who was a minister and a WWII U. S. Army infantry veteran. Nursing was Mary’s passion. She held her nursing license into her 80s and most enjoyed her time as a labor and delivery nurse. After they both retired, Mary and Arlo lived in Jefferson County for two years, before returning to Southwest Florida to be close to their grandchildren.

Bruce’s sister, Susan Elizabeth Leinback, was the oldest of his three sisters. After graduating from high school in 1968, Susan, who was then not yet 18, traveled by train from Southwest Florida to Montreal, Canada, to enroll in the RN Nursing Program at Montreal General Hospital, where her mother had received her RN education. Unfortunately, Susan never became an RN. She died following an automobile accident in Jefferson County in 1969 while visiting her family in Florida. 

Bruce, who served as NFCC’s college attorney for 20 years before retiring in June 2017, says he has been impressed with the growth and positive impact of NFCC’s nursing programs over the years. “I was the college attorney when both the LPN and RN programs were established [at NFCC], and I saw what a difference the programs were making in the lives of the students and in the college’s six-county district.” 

NFCC now offers an online ADN-RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing bridge program as the next step for RNs to further their education and leadership roles in nursing. 

Applications for the Mary and Susan Leinback Memorial Nursing Scholarship are open to Jefferson County residents enrolled in the LPN to RN Bridge program at NFCC. The program offers LPNs a one-year accelerated program that leads to an Associate in Science in Registered Nursing. 

“If you keep your focus on your future, you will find ways to overcome the obstacles, and you will reach your goals,” said Bruce, as words of encouragement to upcoming scholarship recipients.

Bruce and Linda live in Jefferson County and are active members of Christ Episcopal Church in Monticello.  They are both “double” FSU graduates and avid FSU football fans. Both of them had to work to earn the money to pay for their educations, so they appreciate what the LPN’s in the RN Bridge program have to do in order to further their education.

“Linda and I hope that this scholarship will help students from Jefferson County achieve their goals of becoming registered nurses,” said Bruce. “Because my mother was an RN and Susan was an RN student, this was a way to honor their memories and help others achieve their dreams of becoming registered nurses.” 

Bruce, who went to law school after serving in the U. S. Army in Vietnam, has spent over 40 years practicing law. He has a law office in Tallahassee and serves as the City Attorney for the City of Monticello. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and Past President of the William H. Stafford American Inn of Court in Tallahassee. He has also been an Adjunct Professor at the Florida State University College of Law. After graduating from the FSU College of Law in 1976, he initially worked for the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission in Tallahassee.  He then went to work for the United States government at the Panama Canal where, among other positions, he served as Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of the Canal Zone. 

Linda, who is now retired, has spent her career in the educational arena. She worked for 17 years as a middle school teacher. After receiving her graduate degree in Instructional Systems at FSU, Linda was hired to write curriculum by Tallahassee Community College, and then by Florida International University. 

“I am passionate about education, so I look forward to helping students in the NFCC Bridge Program reach their goals of becoming RNs,” said Linda.  

For more information about the Mary and Susan Leinback Memorial Nursing Scholarship, contact the NFCC Foundation at 850-973-9414 or foundation@nfcc.edu. More information is also available at www.nfcc.edu/foundation-giving. 

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PHOTO: Linda and Bruce Leinback