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The Board of Trustees of Illinois Central College recently named its new Career Center in honor of Representative David R. Leitch. ICC Board Chairman Jerry Wright, in his comments at the naming ceremony for the facility, explained that this act honors, remembers, and sets Rep. Leitch as an example for others to follow. Wright told the representative, “You have been a friend and an advocate, you have helped us secure funds for new buildings including this one. You were instrumental in securing the North Campus for ICC. You have gone above and beyond the call of duty. For these unselfish and extraordinary efforts, we honor you and thank you.”

Other civic leaders echoed these words. Rep. Lee Daniels, the former Speaker of the Illinois House, called Leitch “very, very important. I can’t think of anyone in the Illinois House who deserves this more than David Leitch. We literally could not have done what we did in the House without his voice, without his reason.”

Jay Vonachen, noted Peoria businessman, said, “David is well regarded for his civic and charitable activities, and he’s done those since way before he was a public office holder. I think most of us would be more than proud to lay claim to the things that David has done.”

Vonachen noted that as a student at East Peoria High School, Leitch was involved in campaigning for the referendum that established ICC. Vonachen explained that when Leitch began his banking career, he took classes at ICC to learn more about the banking and finance industry. He added that Leitch had been involved in securing funding for several ICC projects including the addition to the Agricultural and Industrial Technology Building, the Technology Center, the new greenhouse, and the ICC North campus.

Former Peoria Mayor David Ransburg described Leitch as a go-to kind of person. “From the first day I met Dave it was very clear that he was very interested in getting things done. He did it very quietly. He’s never gotten the recognition he deserves. I think it’s fitting that we’re going to get this great big wonderful guy some recognition that he deserves.”

Another former Mayor of Peoria, Richard Carver, spoke about Leitch as a man of integrity, saying, “There are a rare few who set their own political future aside and make getting things done, making something better than when they found it, and are willing to take the pain that comes with it. He does it.”

Carver applauded ICC for “having the intestinal fortitude and the courage to say this one representative is singular in the history of this school and in the future of this school. There are a lot of people who don’t want to take a chance.” Carver noted that Leitch also was involved in the re-development of the City of Peoria.

David Leitch not only represents the greater Peoria community, but has been with Illinois Central College from the start. He campaigned for its establishment, experienced it as a student, and helped nurture and grow it as an elected official. But he’s provided this kind of loyalty and service to many constituents in central Illinois. This example of service is the reason Illinois Central College has chosen to honor and remember him by naming its Career Center after him. IBI

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