When Gilmour Academy opened in 1946, Bud (Norman) McLeod ’50 was one of its first students. He holds the distinction of being Gilmour’s first student council president. His mother was the first Women s Club president and his father the second Men’s Club president. Entering the Academy as a ninth grader, McLeod was the first of his brothers to graduate from Gilmour in 1950. John ’54 and William ’60 followed. Throughout his four years at Gilmour, McLeod was kept busy with classes, soccer, basketball, and track, where he says he learned to organize people.
After graduating from Gilmour, McLeod earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology at John Carroll University in 1954. He was president of the university’s glee club and was vice commander of the ROTC unit, commander of Scabbard & Blade and vice commander of Pershing Rifles. After serving with the U.S. Corp of Engineers in Germany, McLeod was a service station manager and rubber tire salesman before becoming the first lay development director at Gilmour. He held similar posts at the former Dyke College, Tri-State University in Angola, Ind., and Morristown Bear Prep School in New Jersey. He also was a residential realtor for 15 years from 1987-2002 and was a professional fashion and character model. The alum even played Santa for seven years in Morristown.
On their way to relocate in Vermont, McLeod and his wife, Louise, took a detour to Rhode Island. “We were so captivated by the beauty of the Ocean State we decided to relocate there,” he says. Four of their five children attended either Glen Oak School or Gilmour and Michael ’75 and John ’77 are Gilmour graduates.
Active in politics throughout his life, McLeod ran for mayor of Solon in 1983 and was chairman of the Morristown Republican Party. He served on AARP’s State Legislative Committee for the past eight years and received its Volunteer Leader of the Year Award in 2009. SO Rhode Island magazine saluted McLeod for his leadership in September with a cover photo and full-page article. The magazine referred to him as a self-starter. McLeod started the first AARP Boomers Group for those 50-64 in the United States and the first Fibromyalgia support group in his area.