- Academic Division
Major General, U.S. Army Retired, William (Bill) O’Leksy was born in Green Bay and attended St. Philip Grade School, followed by eight years of Norbertine guidance at Central Catholic High School and St. Norbert College. The next 70 years were equally split between Army service to our country followed in retirement by volunteer service to a small community in the North Georgia mountains. O'Leksy and his wife, Carol, shared their busy lives with five daughters. Their youngest left a family of seven as she went to her reward at a young age. O'Leksys are now settled in a senior living community in Charlottesville, Va., keeping track of a growing family of grand and great grandchildren.
O'Leksy's military career highlights:
- O'Leksy graduated from St Norbert College in De Pere with a Regular Army commission in 1954. He commanded at platoon to brigade levels with oversea service in Germany, Korea and Vietnam. Early assignments were in 1st, 2nd, and 10th Infantry Divisions in Artillery, Infantry and Adjutant General Corps positions. Later assignments were as a Deputy Installation Commander in Training and Doctrine Command and on the General Staff of Headquarters, Department of the Army.
- In last assignment as Director of Military Personnel Management at Headquarters Department of the Army, responsible for policy guiding all aspects of human resource management in a soldier’s service life from recruitment to separation including the Military Academy at West Point.
- Achievements and contributions to our country's defense have been recognized by 13 individual decorations for distinguished accomplishment, including two awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, the Army's highest award for service.
O'Leksy's community service highlights:
- After retirement, served as adjunct faculty in business administration and management for North Georgia College and State University and as an volunteer systems and planning consultant to local business, government, and various non-profit organizations.
- American Red Cross: Spent 25 years as volunteer in leadership positions at local, state, region and national levels, with primary focus on disaster organization and response.
- Rotary International: Member and past president of two Rotary clubs during 30 years providing leadership in a number of major projects during the rapid growth of his home community in the North Georgia mountains; national award as a Paul Harris Fellow.
- Military Affiliate Radio Service (MARS volunteers use their amateur radio skills and equipment to provide free communications to service members and their families worldwide.): Member 1979-1999; State Director for Georgia Army MARS for five years, including extremely active period during Mideast conflicts. Service of Georgia Army MARS recognized by a personal letter from General Norman Schwarzkopf.
- Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) - County Coordinator; recognized by city and county for directing emergency communication support operations responding to the deadly destruction of a local tornado disaster.
- Chamber of Commerce – Board Member and Chair of County Chamber of Commerce.
- Regional Library System - Board of Directors; Board Chairman; Member and Chair, County Library Board of Directors. Principle leadership over two decades in building taxpayer and government support for a much needed new library building with updated technology, opened with ribbon cutting in 2021.
- Holly Community Theatre - Volunteer worker in restoration of historic 1940s theater building; Vice-Chair of Board of Directors.
- County Literacy Coalition – Developed local program providing a book, appropriate to the age, addressed to every child born in the county, and mailed with address to the child monthly until five years old. Member and Chair of Board of Directors.
- County Historical Society – Member and President. Received highest Society award for authoring of a documented history of local Chamber of Commerce.
- County Board of Assessors – Volunteered six years on board; developed and installed first computer-assisted system for maintaining property value records; and designed a more accurate method of assessing property values which was later adapted in state curriculum for training assessors.
- Saint Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church – Member of Parish Council and President; service as Usher, Eucharistic Minister and/or Adult Religious Education Teacher for entire stay in Dahlonega, Georgia.
- Recognized in 1994 by the City Mayor and County Commissioner as "Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Volunteer of the Year."
- Presented "Distinguished Alumnus Award for Public Service" in 1997 by St. Norbert College.
- Recognized in 1998 by the local press with "The Magnificent Seven, Gold Award" for significant contributions to the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County community.
- August 1999 Lumpkin County Grand Jury - Recruited as "Technical Assistant" to the Grand Jury in probing alleged irregularities in the operations and records of the County Commissioner's Office; completed and delivered fully documented report to the Jury with extensive findings of significant irregularities, accepted without substantive challenge by the Grand Jury and the Commissioner's Office. The findings contributed significantly to a decision to change county governance to a multi-commissioner form the next year.
- Doctorate (1973) and Masters (1964) in Business Administration, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. (areas of concentration: information technology, management, operations research); Bachelor of Arts (English and Education) from Saint Norbert College, West DePere, Wisconsin. Honorary Doctorate of Laws, Saint Norbert College, 2012 Commencement.