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Dr. Donzell Lee retires from Alcorn after 45 years of service



Dr. Donzell Lee (Photo courtesy Alcorn State University)

One of Alcorn State University’s longest-tenured employees is saying goodbye to the University after four decades of service.

Dr. Donzell Lee, who served as interim president during the 2018-2019 academic year, is retiring from Alcorn after 45 years. During his tenure, Lee served in numerous positions including instructor of music and chair of the Department of Fine Arts, director of the Honors Curriculum Program, dean of the School of Graduate Studies, and interim associate vice president for the Office of Academic Affairs. He was also appointed provost in 2015.

Lee holds degrees from Xavier University, Stanford University and Louisiana State University.

Initially, Lee said he planned to only work at Alcorn for one year. That changed once he got acclimated to the university’s surroundings, and he fall in love with the atmosphere.

“I have mixed emotions,” Lee said about leaving. “After so many years and so many memories, there will be a void. You can’t dismiss 45 years without some emotions.”

Engaging with his peers and students are two things Lee will miss about working at Alcorn.

“I will certainly miss the daily interactions with students and colleagues,” he said. “Those interactions are the things that have created the Alcorn family for so many.”

Alcorn has created many avenues for Lee to find career success and experience personal and professional growth.

“I have had the opportunity to grow from a young faculty member to the highest administration levels,” he said. “I have traveled to many places and met so many people, all while enriching myself in knowledge, skills and positive personal growth. I would not be the person I am today had it not been for Alcorn. I owe this institution a lot.”

Setting a positive example for others has always been a priority for Lee.

“I realized early in my career that being a great role model was important. I’ve tried to be one for my students and colleagues. That great sense of responsibility cultivated during my tenure here will forever be with me,” he said.

“As leaders, we are here to serve all of our constituents. When we do our job well, we gleefully witness students’ success, faculty and staff growth, and the upward progression of the University. It’s always great to hear from alumni who go on to be successful as professionals in their fields. It feels great when I get calls from students who want to say, ‘Thank you.’”

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