Edward (Ted) Leyhe’s commitment to the community, which has transformed Oshkosh and impacted thousands of people in countless ways, will be posthumously honored May 17 with an honorary doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
“Ted’s commitment to the community and his involvement with UW Oshkosh had an enormous impact on the region,” said Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “His distinguished career has had a positive impact on thousands of people.”
Leyhe, who passed away in March, began his career in Oshkosh at the Miles Kimball Company, one of the most successful direct-mail catalog companies in the nation. Harnessing this success, he created many new, local businesses, including two radio stations and a daily newspaper.
Leyhe’s commitment to the community led to enormous urban renewal in downtown Oshkosh. He funded the renovation of several empty buildings on Main Street, brought in new businesses, moved his own offices downtown and upgraded both the aesthetics and the economic viability of the area.
Additionally, Leyhe worked frequently and closely with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation. He personally orchestrated many significant contributions to the university, including an endowed professorship in the name of Alberta Kimball.
In addition to coordinating financial contributions, Leyhe frequently made funds available to contract nationally significant political speakers to come to campus. He also sponsored playwrights, scientists, singers, dancers and artists.
“The Leyhe family would like to express our sincere thanks to the University for giving our father an honorary doctorate degree,” said Ted Leyhe, Jr. “Dad felt strongly that higher education was important. Because a college education played such an important role in his own life, he wanted to give something back to the local university and the town he loved.”