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Steve Leeolou ('78)
A vision of the future can be risky business. Turning away from a promising broadcasting career, Steve Leeolou ventured into an industry in its infancy. Struggling for a time on the edge of financial ruin, Steve and wife, Dee Dee ('78), held fast to their vision to build what became the nation's third-largest independent cellular operator. Steve and Dee Dee shared their return-on-investment with JMU. In 1999, they were the first alumni to make a $1 million gift to the university, funding a new home for the growing number of their fellow alumni. In 2006, they made their second seven-figure gift to JMU at the launch of the university's first-ever comprehensive capital campaign.
"Dee Dee and I again are going to make a seven-figure gift to this university to help anchor the new centennial campaign. — We want to do it because we love this school and know it will be an investment that pays compounded returns in producing people who will make a real contribution to society going forward."