Susan Leach Kennedy ’59

B.A., Theatre Arts, Denison University
M.A., Theatre Arts, The Ohio State University
Diplomatis Studiorum Anglicanorum, Berkeley at Yale Divinity School
M.Div., Yale Divinity School
S.T.M. in Spiritual Direction, General Theological Seminary

Infant and Maternal Health Advocate and Private Counselor
Newark, Ohio

Citation awarded May, 2009

Susan Leech Kennedy describes herself as a counselor in private practice, specializing in spiritual direction and ethics. She is Spiritual Director for the School for the Diaconate for the Diocese of Southern Ohio of the Episcopal Church and has served as a Hospice Chaplain.

Susan has been an innovator and volunteer in the field of infant advocacy for thirty years. She co-developed programs for infant development, testified before the Ohio Legislature, made television appearances, served on numerous state and local boards (in which she has held leadership positions), and been a frequent speaker to statewide interest groups.

Susan has served on a number of community boards and was co-founder of the Licking County Infant Development Program. She was the originating president of Better Infant Birth Council (a coalition of some 20 organizations) for the March of Dimes. She has served as a Perinatal Consultant on the Ohio Genetic Network for the Ohio Department of Health, as well as State President of Action for Newborns, State Volunteer Advisor for March of Dimes, Ohio Council for Effective Parenting Board, and on the Cash Subsidy Committee for Impaired Children for the State of Ohio.

She was a member of the Board of the Ohio Perinatal Association’s (OPA) Legislative and Executive Committees. She was the originator of the OPA/Junior League/March of Dimes computerized perinatal display for prevention of birth defects, seen by more than three million persons at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus. Susan has lobbied extensively for maternal and child health causes in Ohio and nationally. She served on the National Perinatal Association Board of Directors (chair, Multiculturalism Task Force).

Susan was a member of the Welsh Hills School Board, the Junior League Grantsmanship Team, the Board of Weathervane Playhouse, Twig 14, the Columbus Children’s Theatre Board, the YWCA Board, and Planned Parenthood of East Central Ohio.

She chaired the committee to create the two original Ohio State Hospital chapels. She is again on the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church, Newark, and is a recipient of the Jefferson Award in the Midwest, for “outstanding public service.”