Dr. Donald Zacharias:
Former President at Mississippi State University
“When I first arrived at Mississippi State University, Leo Seal approached me, wanting to do something about the dressing rooms at the football stadium. His idea involved doing something similar to Rice University. So I flew up to Rice University to look. … I returned to Leo with the idea of using his plan upstairs in the area he was planning to use for the alumni who played football at Mississippi State on game days. As a result to his generosity, the [Leo W. Seal M-Club Center] has become one of the most loved and used buildings con campus. He had a great respect and devotion to other people. … On numerous occasions he contributed to the campus anonymously. He was a very generous and caring person. He cared very much for the people and organizations that were a part of his life.”
Dr. Zacharias also offered a quote that he believed to be important to Seal, as well as by him:
“There’s so much bad in the best of us, and there’s so much good in the worst of us. It’s a matter of finding the good in people and giving everyone the benefit of the doubt.”
Dr. Aubrey Lucas:
Former President at University of Southern Mississippi, Delta State
“He was one of the most generous people, I think, I have ever known. He was a very loyal alumnus at MSU. … He was one of the finest business leaders, always giving his support to organizations. (His work at Hancock Bank has made) Hancock bank one of the most successful banks. Hancock has held its own through all of economic hardships recently. I knew him best when we were on the board of directs on the board of Mississippi Power Company. He was a leader on that board. He has a wonderful family, and we will miss him. We will miss the good example that the set, in every part of his life.”
McKinley “Mac” W. Deaver:
President of the Mississippi Bankers Association
“He was chairman/president of MBA in 1974, his father Leo Seal Sr. had been president in 1944. So Leo succeeded his father. Not the only father son succession, but it is unusual for that to occur. Everyone referred to Leo by his first name, and upon mentioning his name, everyone knew who you were talking about. He and his bank were very active in the bankers association for many years. To this day, his bank is really involved in the industry’s causes. Two years ago, at our annual convention, we honored Leo for 60 years in banking. We do a 40-year club and a 50-year club, but no 60-year club, but certainly wanted to recognize him. So we honored him with a plaque at our convention. Harry Walker was the chairman, and presented him with the award. When doing so, he introduced him as, “Mr. Mississippi Banker.” Leo has always been revered and respected by his peers. He’d also always been approachable and respectable. He had a lot of good humor and good nature, and was a friend to many people. His stature preceded him, but upon meeting him he was a good friend who was always helpful and there for people.
He was referred to as a legend, and we believe he was. Leo was always been a force.
Gov. Haley and First Lady Marsha Barbour
“Leo Seal, a great Coast leader in banking, economic development and innumerable civic organizations, has passed away. Leo’s long years of distinguished service and tremendous leadership left the Gulf Coast and the State of Mississippi better places. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”
Former Lt. Governor and Governor for the state of Mississippi
“Leo Seal was a man of vision and ideas who never forgot one of the important things in life — the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Mississippi has lost one of her great citizen leaders.”
Paul D. Guichet
Vice President of Investor Relations & Corporate Governance at Hancock Holding Company
“He was one of a kind. You just don’t see people of his character, commitment and values as much as you used to in the older days. He was so unpretentious. His memory and mind was as sharp as a tack. People just don’t know how much he helped the Coast. And he preferred it that way, by giving so much anonymously. “
Blake A. Wilson
President, Mississippi Economic Council
Long-time MEC member, volunteer and past-chair, Mr. Leo W. Seal Jr. of Hancock Bank was an incredible positive force for the State of Mississippi — always looking forward and consistently focused on making things better. He was generous and gracious as well as modest and humble. We will miss this amazing leader, who embodied the true spirit of the coast.
Memphis businessman and Mississippi State Alumnae
“I knew Mr. Seal from my time at MSU. He was a very important part of the Bulldog family. He was a very special “Bulldog friend.” He was greatly admired by many people, and I had a lot of admiration for him.”
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