Leland has been a reporter for the Charlotte Observer for more than 25 years. She has won the national Ernie Pyle Award for human interest writing and the 2006 Darrell Sifford Memorial Prize in Journalism and is a three-time winner of the Associated Press’ Thomas Wolfe writing award. Leland is the author of two books — A Place for Joe and The Vanishing Coast.
Rebelling against the king, the founders of Charlotte established Queen’s College. Had the college survived the Revolutionary War, Charlotte — not Chapel Hill — would have claimed the nation’s first public university.