Lee News

Ollie Lee to Speak at Winter Commencement



Lee University will welcome Dr. Ollie J. Lee, distinguished professor emeritus of sociology, back to campus to deliver the address at the university’s winter commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Having graduated from Lee College in 1958, Lee went on to earn his doctorate in sociology before returning to his alma mater in 1967. His career at Lee began with the goal of helping the school transition from a junior college to a four-year liberal arts program. In 1968, he taught sociology to the first class to graduate from the new program.

During his time at the university, Lee served as chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, dean of the Division of Arts and Sciences, associate dean, and academic vice president. In 2002, he was promoted in rank to distinguished professor of sociology.

Outside of the classroom, Lee has participated in the Cleveland Optimist Club and Cleveland Helpline telephone counseling ministry, consulted and sat on city and county citizens’ study committees, and served as a research consultant for the Church of God International Study Commission. He is a member of the Southern Sociological Society, Christian Sociological Society, World Future Society, Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society, and Association of Christians Teaching Sociology.

Dr. Ollie Lee
Dr. Ollie J. Lee


Lee and his late wife, fellow Lee alumna Glenna Sheppard, have three sons, three daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. Active in the Westmore Church of God and the ministry of Gideons International, Lee speaks for the Gideons in many local churches.

Winter commencement is one of three graduation ceremonies held each year at the university, the others held in the spring and summer. The winter ceremony combines the music and decorations of the Christmas season with traditional commencement activities. More than 270 graduates will receive degrees in the Saturday morning ceremony, and the Lee University Chorale will provide music.

Prior to the Saturday commencement, which starts at 10:30 a.m., a commissioning ceremony will be held Friday, Dec. 14, at 6:30 p.m. The commissioning service is a special occasion for students and their families to reflect on their experiences at the university. During the event, six student speakers will share brief stories about their time at Lee, and each graduate is presented with a personalized Bible in a traditional walk across the stage. Both services will be held in the Conn Center.

A hooding ceremony for recipients of master’s and education specialist degrees will take place Friday, Dec. 14, at 4:30 p.m. in the Lee Chapel.

Prior to this, The School of Nursing will hold a pinning ceremony, by invitation only, for its graduating students.

The hooding, commissioning, and commencement ceremonies are ticketed events. For those wishing to view any of the events, live streaming is available.

For more information about commencement exercises, contact the Academic Events Office at (423) 614-8117 or visit grad info.
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