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Service, Time, Money: Energetic Luecks give much to Shepherd

By Staff | Aug 4, 2017

Al Lueck came to Shepherd from tiny LaSalle High School in Cumberland, Maryland. He has never left. After he and his exuberant wife, Sara, graduated in 1967, their presence at the college’s athletic events, fund raising functions, good will activities, Homecoming planning sessions, presence on various college boards and as defacto ambassadors for the school has continued on unrivaled for 50 years now.

Fifty years.

As a wiry offensive lineman in the days when Jess Riggleman coached the football Rams, Al played at Ram Stadium when the locker rooms were in recently razed Cree Hall and some of the patrons gathered on a sloping hillside behind the visitors bench on the west side of the place.

Majoring in secondary education, Al once had a position in the state prison system of Maryland, working in recreation at a facility just east of Hagerstown.

And he was also an assistant football coach at Shepherd when Walter Barr was helping the Rams reach the NAIA playoffs, several Coal Bowls and win several WVIAC championships.

The first money Al and Sara gave to the school has to be documented somewhere, but if found it would have yellowed with age and probably be dog-eared unless sealed away in a safety deposit box.

There are at least four football scholarships endowed by the gift-minded couple.

One football scholarship is for an offensive lineman, still a favored position by Al on any Ram edition. Another football gift was the Silver Anniversary Endowed Football Scholarship donated in honor of current coach Monte Cater’s 25th season as Shepherd’s football coach.

In 2003, Al was the driving force behind starting the Ram Gridiron Club, an organization that has now raised over $175,000 for the football team.

If a person were to look at the inner workings of any recent (if the past 35 years is recent) fund raising effort at Shepherd, the Luecks would be found doing what they could to help.

When Shepherd held its 2003 Athletic Hall of Fame banquet, the Luecks were awarded the Athletic Hall of Fame Medallion for their seemingly tireless work on behalf of the school.

Both Al and Sara have served on various boards at Shepherd. In 2005, Al was the secretary of the Shepherd Foundation.

They are also perfect liaisons between the college and the town of Shepherdstown, having long-time friendships with the mayors of the small city and any elected official who may have served in the state legislature or Jefferson county government.

Very little that has transpired at Shepherd since 1967 hasn’t been noticed by Al and Sara. And if the activity at hand needed man/woman hours, organizational skills, human public relations or money then the Luecks became involved.

Helping Shepherd has been a lifetime theme for them.

Shepherd would not be the place it is now without the roll-up-your-sleeves, glad-to-do-it selflessness of the Luecks (Class of ’67).