Leonis Malburg, a 1949 graduate of Woodbury who also served the University for over a decade as a trustee, passed away on November 1, 2017. He was 88 years old.
As a business management undergraduate student in the late 1940s, Malburg attended classes year-round, enabling him to graduate in just two years and begin his career in banking. He started out as a messenger for the First National Bank of Vernon where, after serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, he continued to build his career for decades. Eventually Malburg worked his way up to become president and chairmen of the board at First National. Meanwhile, Malburg also served in the government of the small city of Vernon which his grandfather, J.B. Leonis, founded in 1905. In 1956, he joined the city council and in 1974, he become the city’s mayor. Malburg’s 53 years of public service in Vernon made him one of the longest serving public officials in California history.
In addition to serving as a trustee, Malburg provided significant support to his alma mater, including making a million-dollar gift to the University in 2006 to help fund construction of a new School of Business building.
Malburg’s experiences at Woodbury made a significant impression, resonating with him throughout his life. In a 2006 profile in the University’s President’s Report, Malburg recalled how impressed he was as a Woodbury student by the faculty. “They gave us input on the latest developments in their business and it was great,” he is quoted as saying.
Malburg is survived by his son John, as well as his daughter Linda and son-in-law Tracy and his grandchildren.