Leone “Lee” Spencer Harlan has been a member of The Scoular Company’s Board of Directors since 2012. Her husband, Neal Harlan, was one of the original partners who purchased Scoular Bishop Trading Company from the Scoular family in 1967. During his 20 years with the company, Neal served as both President and Chief Executive Officer. He retired in 1989 and continued to serve on Scoular’s Board of Directors until his death in February 2003.
Lee grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1955 and a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 1970. Lee was a teacher for 24 years and worked mostly at Omaha public schools.
Lee and Neal have been longtime supporters of the University of Nebraska and the State of Nebraska. In 2000, they created the first-ever named vice chancellorship within the University of Nebraska system: The Neal and Leone Harlan Vice Chancellorship of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, currently held by Dr. Mike Boehm. In addition, they provided funding for the annual Omtvedt Innovation Awards for faculty, staff, and students to assist with new or expanding research, teaching, and outreach activities as well as recognizing outstanding work and efforts. In 2008, Mrs. Harlan established the Neal E. Harlan Freshman Agribusiness Scholarships awarded to six new students in the Agricultural Economics Department. In 2009, she extended these scholarships to provide support for 16 Agribusiness freshmen.
Over the years, Harlan’s gifts have benefited the Lied Center for Performing Arts, the Nebraska Leadership Education Action Development (LEAD) Program, and the Agricultural Research and Development Center. They also funded two professorships: The Neal E. Harlan Professorship of Agribusiness held by Professor Ron Hanson, and the Judge Harry A. Spencer Professorship of Law honoring Lee’s father—a former Nebraska Supreme Court judge and an NU graduate.
Lee continues her legacy of service with her enthusiastic encouragement and consistent presence at UNL events. Lee also serves on the boards of the Methodist Hospital Foundation and the Methodist College of Nursing.