For immediate release — Oct. 15, 2013; updated Nov. 6, 2013
Faculty, staff and administrators from the Dallas County Community College District are mourning the loss of DCCCD’s second chancellor, Dr. R. Jan LeCroy, who died on Thursday, Oct. 10, at the age of 82.
“I am saddened to share with members of the district's family the news that Dr. Jan LeCroy, who served as DCCCD’s second chancellor from 1981 to 1987, passed away at his home last Thursday evening,” said Dr. Wright Lassiter Jr., DCCCD’s current chancellor in an email announcement. “Our hearts and prayers go out to his family.”
LeCroy’s wife, Nancy, said a private ceremony would be held for family members.
(See below for details of the Nov. 14 public memorial service.)
The district’s second chancellor remained involved with DCCCD employees and students at all seven colleges in the system after he retired, especially through the LeCroy Scholars program, started in his honor by Dallas businessman and longtime friend Mike A. Myers. The scholarship fund is administered by the DCCCD Foundation, which named him director emeritus of the board in 2012 for his past service on the DCCCD Foundation board from 1998 to 2012. LeCroy and Myers served as mentors for students who were LeCroy Scholars.
LeCroy was past president of the Dallas Citizens Council, a nonprofit organization comprising CEOs of the 250 largest corporations in the Dallas metropolitan area; its mission is to improve the quality of life and the economic viability of the community.
During his professional career, he served as an officer in Central and South America after he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy; he also worked as a front-line manager for Reynolds Aluminum. He earned his doctorate in community college education in 1981 and served community colleges in various leadership assignments for more than 20 years, including his first position in the district as president of Eastfield College and eventually his seven-year tenure as DCCCD chancellor.
The R. Jan LeCroy Center for Educational Telecommunications, located at Richland College and created in 1972, is widely credited for its early role in promoting online learning. The facility, named in LeCroy’s honor based on his leadership in the use of distance learning in education, has enrolled more than 230,000 students since its inception. Dallas Colleges Online, the district’s virtual campus housed at the LeCroy Center, is one of the country’s largest producers of college-credit online classes.
LeCroy’s past awards and leadership service include: the National Leadership Award from the American Association of Community Colleges, Distinguished Graduate of the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas, president of the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities, and chairman of the board of directors for the American Association of Community Colleges. He is a lifetime member of the board of directors for the Alumni Association at West Point.
LeCroy chaired the committee that developed the Texas Academic Skills Programs for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In 1995, he was appointed by then-Gov. George W. Bush to the Education Commission of the States, which establishes education policy for kindergarten through graduate school throughout the country.
Members of the Dallas County Community College District family will celebrate the life and memory of Dr. R. Jan LeCroy during a public memorial service on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas.
A recording of the former DCCCD chancellor and other members of the West Point Glee Club from his days as a cadet will mark the beginning of the service; the remembrance will conclude with a reading of the West Point Cadet Prayer, recited by Dr. Wright Lassiter Jr., the district's current chancellor.
“I was saddened to share with members of the district's family the news that Dr. Jan LeCroy, who served as DCCCD's second chancellor from 1981 to 1987, passed away at his home last month,” said Lassiter. “Our hearts and prayers continue to be with his family. We will celebrate his life together during the program, which is open to community members, colleagues, and DCCCD employees, students and retirees.”
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the LeCroy Scholars Fund of the Dallas County Community College District Foundation.