James Leck 1962-2011

A memorial service for James Leck was held today at the Marsh Chapel at Boston University. James passed away on July 4th while vacationing in Maine.  As the associate director for student services at Boston University, working with the International Students and Scholars Office’s international students, and an active member in the NAFSA community, he was highly respected within the international education field.

James also taught an International Student Advising course at Lesley University for their Intercultural Relations master’s degree program. As a student in this program, I wanted to recognize Leck’s passing and include testimonials from two of his recent students.

“James Leck served as a mentor and teacher to me while I was a student at Lesley. He was very instrumental in helping me begin my career at Babson College in the Office of International Programs. James immediately showed interest in my career path and often emailed me just to check in and see how I was doing in my new job. My colleagues and I had a very close relationship with James, as he served as a mentor to my supervisor, and to his supervisor as well. Whenever we encountered a tricky situation with a student immigration regulation, our standard response would be, “Let’s ask James.” I am grateful for everything James has done for me and I know that his legacy, good humor and his generous spirit will live in the field of international education for a very long time.” – Lindsey


“James taught my International Student Advising course at Lesley University last Fall semester. Even though I only knew him for one semester, he had a big impact on the type of person I want to strive to be as I start my career in international education. It was evident that James was very knowledgeable in his work as well as someone who had a great sense of humor. In one moment, he was capable of pushing my classmates and I to think deeply about our subject matter through thought-provoking questions, and, in the next, he was able to make us laugh with his jokes.

When my class asked James for advice about how to find internships, he went beyond his duties as a professor and organized an internship workshop for all of us. He also organized a round table discussion for my class at the Region XI NAFSA Conference last year in Providence, RI. We were able to sit down with other professionals in the field and ask them questions about their work and seek advice about starting our careers in the field. These small gestures went a long way and really showed me how much James wanted us all to succeed as new international educators.

I was extremely sad to hear about James’ passing. His personality was so infectious that I couldn’t help but feel like I had lost not only a teacher, but a role model. I can only hope to become half the educator that James had become in his lifetime. He will be sorely missed, especially to those who knew him through the Lesley Intercultural Relations program.” – Chanelle

A memorial website can be found here.