Discover Lee University Lee University is a private, comprehensive university located in Cleveland, TN, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Lee is emerging as a leader in higher education in the southeastern region and is consistently ranked in the "Top Tier" in the South by U.S. News & World Report (Comprehensive Medium-Size Universities). Lee is also ranked by Princeton Review's "Best Colleges" and is one of the 141 colleges named Best in the Southeast. Over the past two decades, Lee has become one of the largest Christ-centered private institutions in Tennessee and the largest in the Appalachian College Association. During that period, the university has undergone a remarkable transformation that has included significant growth in academic programs, student enrollment, faculty expertise and diversity, as well as an expanded sense of mission and vision.