Alumni Profiles    

Lesli Hill Blount, ’83
Marlowe Sherwood Memorial Service Award, 2004

The Marlowe Sherwood Memorial Service Award is presented to an individual who has provided outstanding service to his/her community.  The 2004 recipient, Lesli Hill Blount, ’83, is recognized for her extensive volunteer service and contributions to the local and regional community in which she lives.

Whether Blount focuses on helping an individual or the community as a whole, serving others has been a major part of her life, and, it’s often difficult to make a distinction between Blount’s career and her community service. As Director of Development and Communications of the Greater Burlington (Vermont) YMCA, Blount’s enthusiasm and energy far exceed the job requirements.  She is well recognized and respected as being the “face of the YMCA” in her community.  In this position she is a major fundraiser and oversees the organization’s public relations and marketing efforts.  Blount diligently contributes her energy to the for-profit and not-for profit segments, unifying the forces to benefit her community. She has successfully guided the YMCA’s long-range development to ensure increased community services, all while attracting an ever-increasing crew of volunteers to support its goals and mission.   

 Blount’s spouse, Park alumnus Rick Blount, ’84, told the awards committee that “Service is metabolic to Lesli:  It motivates and sustains her, and she goes about her service in such a humble, fun, humorous way that the rest of us are compelled to tag along.”

.Blount met her future husband while working behind the soda fountain at McKeon’s in Parkville when his parents came to campus for a track event.  She served them lemonade along with reassurances that Park was the right place for their son.  This same compassion has led Blount to mentor colleagues and student interns at the YMCA and to travel to China to teach English.  In the years that followed she sponsored two Chinese graduate students, opening her home to them as they navigated the challenges of a foreign country. 

Blount has become especially proficient at guiding and serving the business community.  As chair of the board of the Burlington (Vermont) Business Association she puts her energies to work supporting its mission of enhancing the economic vitality of her hometown and serving the organization’s 170 members.  Among her numerous community activities, Blount founded and organizes a local monthly discussion group for executive directors and fund raisers, served on the board of the Northern New England Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, represented Rotary International in a group study exchange to Brazil, and serves on an advisory group consulting the leadership of Fletcher Allen Health Care, Vermont’s academic medical center.

Among other projects, she volunteers for United Way, First Night Burlington (an alcohol-free family New Year’s celebration), the Flynn Theatre, The American Diabetes Association, The Vermont City Marathon, and First Run Burlington (a New Year’s Day run.)  She also writes articles for publication on fundraising topics. 

In 1999, Blount was recognized by the Burlington Chamber of Commerce as a “Rising Star.”  Today her star is fully illuminated.  Her expertise is in demand as a keynote speaker, mediator, and promoter.

Blount exemplifies the Park motto, “fides et labor.”  She has faith in the people of her community and works tirelessly for their benefit. For this the Park University Alumni Association thanked her with the 2004 Marlowe Sherwood Memorial Service Award. 




At McKeon's in Parkville

The Blount's wedding in the chapel

Lesli and Rick in China

Lesli and Rick