Raider Romance

From Dayton to D.C., one couple reflects on their marriage, careers, and Wright State experience

Photo: Phil Humnicky

Eric and Molly Leckey are two of nearly 6,000 Wright State alumni who are married to another Wright State graduate. For the Leckeys, their romance blossomed out of a friendship that was formed on Wright State’s Model United Nations team. The two met during their junior year, when Molly joined the Model UN as a delegate. Eric and Molly became fast friends and eventually started dating their senior year.

Eleven years after graduating from Wright State, the couple is celebrating their 10-year wedding anniversary while balancing marriage, family life, and careers in the hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital.

Molly currently works as the legal advisor to the Clerk of the Board at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, while Eric is the chief privacy officer at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They both credit Wright State, and particularly the Model UN program, with giving them the foundation for their success today.

“The Model UN program really gave me the confidence that I could do more,
be more,” said Molly, who graduated from George Washington University Law School in 2005. “It was the highlight of my college years—the things I learned, the relationships I formed with friends, with Eric, with professors we still stay in touch with 10 years later.”

For Eric, the Model UN program taught him the fundamentals any college graduate should have—strong research, public speaking, writing, negotiating, debate, cultural, and interpersonal skills. It also helped prepare him for a career in politics and public service.

Eric served as Shelby County chairman and regional coordinator for the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2000. Following graduation, he was appointed by the Bush administration to a position at the U.S. Department of Education. From 2003 to 2007, he worked on homeland security issues at both the White House and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

After two years in the private sector at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Eric returned to the Department of Homeland Security. He moved to FEMA in 2011. When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in October 2012, Eric was deployed to New York to lead a team
that worked on response and recovery in Long Beach.

“In the homeland security environment, every thing you do touches people,” Eric explained. “There’s really no better way and no better place to work where what you do really does directly impact on a daily basis the safety and security of the nation and the people who live here. That’s the most rewarding part of it.”

For Molly, who began her career as an attorney in one of D.C.’s top law firms, working for the federal government has allowed her to achieve a better work-life balance, where she can have a rewarding career while taking care of the couple’s two young sons, Truman and Tate.

The Leckeys stay close to their Ohio roots, frequently returning home to visit family in Springfield and Sidney. They also continue to support the Model UN program, where their love story first began. They co-chaired the Model UN Advisory Board the first year after it was formed, and they have endowed a scholarship fund for Model UN students.

As Eric explained, “It became important to us to make sure that this program at Wright State lived into perpetuity.”

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