Lee University Will Dedicate New Buildings Friday

Tuesday, September 21, 2004
The new Center for Humanities building at Lee University. Click to enlarge.
The new Center for Humanities building at Lee University. Click to enlarge.

Lee University will celebrate two years of improvement and success in a day of campus-wide festivities on Friday, Sept. 24. The event, “Celebration 2004” will feature the dedication and ribbon-cutting of the new Center for the Humanities.

A convocation and dedication service will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Conn Center. The formal service will dedicate the Center for the Humanities with an academic processional, a 300-student Festival choir and orchestra and an address by President Paul Conn. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will immediately follow at the building.

Friday’s festivities will begin at 9 a.m. with an offering of 40 different seminars covering a wide variety of topics taught by special guest speakers which are open to the public and will last about an hour each.

The Center for Humanities is the newest and largest academic building on Lee’s campus and will provide space for psychology, sociology, history, political science, anthropology, human development and counseling classes and offices. The building features 13 classrooms, two computer centers for teaching and student use, two lounges for students and faculty, a 200 seat recital hall, a 125 seat lecture hall, 10 music faculty studios, 10 music practice rooms, 26 faculty offices, departmental offices and workrooms, a music archive and small ensemble rehearsal room, two walk-out balconies, and 51,000 feet of academic space. The building opened in August for use.

The building has been funded by many friends of Lee including Richard and Helen DeVos, long-time supporters of Lee and well known philanthropists nationwide. William and JoAnn Squires contributed the building’s recital hall in further support of Lee University. The Squires’ live in Charlotte and have been involved with Lee since the 1960s.

The lecture hall will honor the late George R. Johnson, a renowned business man of Bradley County and whose charitable trust provides for the general welfare, health and education of East Tennessee and North Georgia. Don and Carolyn Medlin funded the clock tower and plaza. The tower rises 95 feet above the plaza below and houses a three-faced clock. Mr. Medlin has served on Lee’s Board of Directors for the last 22 years and has been a long-time supporter of the university’s success.

The McKenzie Athletic Building, donated by Tobe McKenzie and his wife Rebecca, was dedicated in 2003 and has been described as “the nerve center of the Lee University athletic program.” The building provides a spacious fitness facility, a clinical facility and offices for Lee’s collegiate coaches. Cliff Schimmels Park, named for the late Dr. Schimmels, beloved writer and teacher at Lee, was completed in 2003 and features a half-mile walking trail, park benches and tables and a picnic shelter.

In addition to the Humanities building, two residence halls, an athletic building and a park will be recognized. O’Bannon-Bowdle Hall, named for two of Lee’s most outstanding professors, Dr. Robert O’Bannon and Dr. Donald Bowdle, opened in 2002 is Lee’s newest “super-dorm” for men. Brinsfield Row, named for the late J. Stewart Brinsfield who served as President of Lee University from 1948-1951, is Lee’s latest addition to women’s housing and is a set of two dozen townhouses along Magnolia Street.

Open Houses of each of these facilities will be held on Friday, Sept. 24, from 12-1 p.m. with faculty and student hosts at each location to display the buildings.

Celebration ceremonies will be attended by dozens of dignitaries, financial supporters from several states, and representatives from the last 50 graduating classes, all marching in caps and gowns. The University’s Board of Directors, and local civic and business leaders and elected officials will also be present this week.

One of the lecture halls in the Center for Humanities building.
One of the lecture halls in the Center for Humanities building.

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