Lee University

Not to be confused with Lee College.
Lee University
Motto "Where Christ is King"[1]
Type Private, Liberal Arts
Established 1918[2]
Affiliation Church of God, but admits students of all religious preferences
Endowment US $12 million
President Dr. Charles Paul Conn[3]
Academic staff
Students 4,922 (Fall 2013)[4]
Address 1120 N Ocoee St, Cleveland, TN[5], Cleveland, Tennessee, United States[5]
35°09′57″N 84°52′16″W / 35.16583°N 84.87111°W / 35.16583; -84.87111Coordinates: 35°09′57″N 84°52′16″W / 35.16583°N 84.87111°W / 35.16583; -84.87111
Campus Suburban, 120 acres
Colors Burgundy & Navy blue
Athletics NCAA Division IIGulf South
Mascot Flames[6]
Website leeuniversity.edu

Lee University is a private Uuniversity in Cleveland, Tennessee, historically affiliated with the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), an evangelical Christian denomination. Lee began as the Church of God Bible Training School in 1918, a small Bible institute of twelve students and one teacher. The school grew and became Lee College, with a Bible college and junior college on its current site, in 1948. Twenty years later, Lee received accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a four-year liberal arts college. In 1997, Lee made the transition from college to comprehensive liberal arts university granting graduate degrees.[7] The university is divided into five colleges and schools: the College of Arts & Sciences, the Helen DeVos College of Education, the School of Music, the School of Nursing, and the School of Religion. The university also offers online degrees through the Division of Adult Learning. Lee University is named for F.J. Lee, the institution's second president.

Lee University is continuously listed on rankings such as “America’s 100 Best College Buys” and U.S. News and World Report’s “Great Schools, Great Prices.” Since the year 2000, Lee University has been listed in the Princeton Review ranking of “best colleges” in the Southeast. Lee University was listed as number 13 among the 20 Colleges Most Committed to Community Service by USA Today College in 2011. In 2009, Lee received the honor of being one of six Presidential Awardees in the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.[7]

In 2009, Voices of Lee, the a cappella vocal ensemble directed by Danny Murray, competed on the first season of The Sing-Off, an a capella competition television show on NBC, hosted by Nick Lachey. They finished in third place.

In January 2013, the Lee University Festival Choir, a special group composed of singers from each of the choral ensembles, performed at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C.


The birthplace of what is now Lee University was a single room in the Church of God Publishing House

Lee University has seen its strongest growth since the 1980s, during which time enrollment quadrupled and full university status was attained. Lee's enrollment is 4,922 students, grown from 960 in 1986[7] (as of Fall 2013). This makes Lee the fifth largest undergraduate enrollment among the 103 Christian colleges who are member institutions of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Students currently represent all 50 states and more than 49 countries. On average, Lee also accepts more than 200 transfer students each fall.


Academic programs

Lee University has a wide range of academic disciplines and extracurricular activities. Many activities such as chapel attendance (offered 2 times per week, students are required to attend 70% of services a month), service requirements (10 hours per semester-80 total hours to graduate), and the study abroad program, called Global Perspectives, are required as part of degree programs. Exceptions and special cases are approved by the relevant academic dean or the president of the university. All non-local entering freshmen are also required to live on-campus with exceptions made to married/divorced/widowed students, students with children, students 21 years and older, part-time students, and students living locally with immediate relatives.[8]

Entering freshmen at Lee University choose their courses of study with guidance of a faculty adviser. New freshmen and transfer students with under 16 credit hours are required to take a course called Gateway to University Success, a one-semester special topics seminar that stresses methods of inquiry, critical analysis, and writing skills, which helps to transition the student to college life. The Gateway course is taught by a full-time faculty member and a student Peer Leader. Included in the general education core of all degrees is a minor in Bible.

Lee has 50 different majors with over 100 individual programs. Although Lee is notable for its Christ-centered education, communications, psychology, pre-medicine, business, elementary education, and music are considered among its strongest specialties. Lee's intensive teaching, active learning, residence in a community of cultural and global diversity, and the institution's commitment to Christian philosophy in both social and academic life come together to form a distinctive experience of liberal education.[7]

College of Arts and Sciences

School of Music

Instrumental Ensembles

  • Wind Ensemble
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Symphonic Band
  • Chamber Strings
  • Brass Choir
  • Guitar Ensemble
  • Jazz Band
  • Pep Band
  • Percussion Ensemble

Vocal Ensembles

  • Festival Choir
  • Choral Union
  • Campus Choir
  • Chorale
  • Evangelistic Singers
  • Ladies of Lee
  • Lee Singers
  • Opera Theatre
  • Voices of Lee

School of Religion

Helen DeVos College of Education


Lee graduates receive a Christian liberal arts education

Lee is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate and master's degrees. Lee has been selected for many years as a “Top Tier” institution in the US News and World Report college rankings. “America’s 100 Best College Buys” chose Lee as one of their top choices every year since 2006. Since the year 2000, Lee University has been listed as one of 141 of the Princeton Review ranking of “best colleges” in the Southeast.[9] The Intercollegiate Studies Institute has recommended Lee University as one of 50 "All-American Colleges". Lee University ranks second in the country among the top master's institutions in the percentage of undergraduates receiving credit for studying abroad, according to Open Doors 2010, an annual report published by the New York-based Institute of International Education (IIE), Lee has also been among the top 20 baccalaureate institutions nationally for the number of international students (248 in fall 2006). The School of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.


Lee University is considered a selective liberal arts university. Historically, it has offered admission to 64% of its applicants, and approximately 80% of accepted students typically enroll in the fall. The average ACT scores achieved by its students is 23 and the average high school GPA is 3.41.

Lee's admissions selectivity rank according to The Princeton Review is 82 out of 99. This ranking is determined by several institutionally-reported factors, including: the class rank, average standardized test scores, and average high school GPA of entering freshmen; the percentage of students who hail from out-of-state; and the percentage of applicants accepted. The primary factor in evaluating applicants is the quality of the education they have received, as shown by their transcript. Early decision opportunities are offered to students in the fall; most students apply in January of their final year in high school. Admissions letters are usually received by April 1 of each year. All students begin classes in August. In some cases students are admitted before they graduate from high school; these students have typically taken all of the academic classes offered at their school.


According to the catalog portion of Lee University's website, the cost of tuition for a full-time student is $7,200 per semester. In addition to this cost, students have the option to pay for on-campus housing or meal plans. Students are required to pay some assorted fees such as technology fees, books, etc. The estimated cost of attending Lee is $11,520 per semester for an on-campus student. This cost includes room, board, tuition and the assorted fees noted above.[10]


Official athletics logo.

The school's sports teams are called the Flames. With membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II, and primarily competing in the Gulf South Conference (GSC), the Flames offer 15 team sports for their men and women student athletes. The available men's sports are: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, JV Basketball, Rugby, Soccer, Tennis, and Track. Athletic programs offered for women are: Basketball, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Fastpitch softball, Golf, Soccer, Tennis, Track, Lacrosse and Volleyball. Lee's Lady Flames soccer team won the NAIA National Championship in 2008[11] 2009, 2010, and 2011. Lee's Lady Flames and men's soccer team won the NCCAA National Championship in 2014.

Student organizations

Lee features more than 100 student organizations which include:


Backyard Ministries, Baptist Collegiate Ministries, Big Pal/Little Pal, Chattanooga Church, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, God's Own, Invisible Children, Invasion, Liturgical Charismatic Fellowship, Mission Alive, Outreaching Hands, Outstretched Arms, Pioneers for Christ


Asian Council, Bahamian Connection, Chinese Student Fellowship, Diversity Council, Leetinos, International Student Fellowship, Umoja, WASA Clubs

Fraternities and sororities

Phi Mu Alpha, Sigma Alpha Iota, Kappa Upsilon Chi, Sigma Alpha Omega

Social service organizations

Acting on Aids, Amnesty International, College Democrats, College Republicans, Family Life, International Justice Mission, Invisible Children, Women's Rugby, Fiber Arts Club/ "Knit Wits," Student Leadership Council, Students for Life, Life423, Crossover, Lee Buddies, Big Pal Little Pal, SAAMS, Upsilon Xi, Delta Zeta Tau, Tau Kappa Omega, Omega Alpha Phi, Alpha Gamma Chi, Sigma Nu Sigma, Pi Kappa Pi, Epsilon Lambda Phi, Theta Delta Kappa, Zeta Chi Lambda.


Academic Council, Anthropology Club, Art Club (C.I.V.A.), AACC (American Assoc. of Christian Counselors), Deutscher Klub (German Club), Financial Management Association International, Kairos Scholars, Kappa Lambda Iota (Lee University Fellowship of Historians), Math Club, Model UN, Music Educators' National Conference, Philosophy Club, Phi Beta Lambda (Business Club), Public Relations Student Society of America, Society for Law and Justice, Sociology Club, Students National Assoc. of Teachers of Singing, Tri-Beta (Biology HS)

Honorary and service clubs

Alpha Chi, Alpha Kappa Delta, Alpha Phi Delta, Alpha Psi Omega, Aria De Capo, Delta Mu Delta, Iota Tau Zeta, Kappa Delta Pi, Kappa Lambda Iota, Lambda Pi Eta, Phi Alpha Theta, Phi Delta Psi, Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Alpha Sigma, Pi Delta Gamma, Phi Delta Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, Pi Sigma Alpha, Psi Chi, Sigma Alpha Iota, Sigma Delta Pi, Sigma Tau Delta

About the campus

Lee University is located in the town of Cleveland, Tennessee, which lies between Chattanooga and Knoxville. Cleveland is located near the Ocoee River, the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics whitewater events, the Smoky Mountains, and the popular Gatlinburg area.

The 120-acre (0.49 km2) campus consists of academic buildings, residence halls, athletic and recreational facilities, dining services, administrative offices, parks and green spaces, a pedestrian mall, Campus Safety facilities, music performance spaces, and other facilities. Many building projects have been undertaken in recent years, including; a new Humanities center (2004), a new Religion building (2008), a new state of the art Science building (2009), a new Chapel (2011), and a new Communications building (2014). The campus also features articulate landscaping and many benches and areas for students. The sidewalks are handicap accessible.

Campus buildings

Note: Dates of construction given when known

Residence halls

Other buildings

Former buildings

Social activities

Community covenant

Lee University, like many faith-based colleges and universities, encourages a Christian philosophy of student behavior based on Biblical teachings. All students are asked to sign a "Community Covenant" which lists several restrictions on behaviors and social interaction according to the school's institutional and religious policy. Most notable are a substance policy barring alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs, and its stance on homosexuality, which is banned in all forms. Men's and women's dormitories are kept separate and premarital sexual intercourse is prohibited regardless of sexual preference. Immodesty and "occult practices" are also forbidden.[12]

Greek organizations

Like many colleges and universities in the U.S., Lee University students have the opportunity to participate in Greek organizations for the purpose of serving the community, bettering the campus and building social and professional relationships. Many of the Greek organizations on Lee University's campus are neither national nor recognized as fraternities or sororities and are instead colloquially referred to as "Greek clubs."[13] There are currently only two nationally-affiliated social fraternities at Lee University, Phi Mu Alpha and Kappa Upsilon Chi. Sigma Alpha Omega is currently the only nationally-affiliated sorority on campus.


Lee University's student newspaper, the Lee Clarion, is published during the academic school year.


Notable alumni


  1. "Lee University". 13 February 2013.
  2. "About Lee". Lee University. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  3. "Meet the President". Lee University. Lee University. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  4. "Lee University Quick Facts". Lee University. Lee University. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  5. 1 2 "About". Lee University. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  6. "Quick Facts". Lee University. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  7. 1 2 3 4 "Lee University Quick Facts". Leeuniversity.edu. Retrieved 2015-04-13.
  8. http://web.leeuniversity.edu/pdf/residential-life/off-campus-application.pdf
  9. Lee University website
  10. "Undergraduate Tuition & Fees". Retrieved 2015-04-13.
  11. "Lee University Soccer News". Leeuniversity.edu. 2008-12-06. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  12. "Community Covenant" (PDF). Archived from the original (pdf) on 2006-09-14. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
  13. "Lee University – Cleveland, TN – Temporary Outage". Students.leeuniversity.edu. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  14. "Lee Clarion". LeeClarion.com. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  15. "Clark Beckham". Lee University. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  16. "Tennessee General Assembly Main Page". Legislature.state.tn.us. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  17. "Lee Alumnus Nathan Chapman Stands Out In The Country Music Business – 12/09/2009". Chattanoogan.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  18. "Titleholders". Misstennessee.org. 2011-06-18. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  19. "Lee University's Micah Massey wins Grammy in tie for best contemporary Christian music song". 2013-02-11.
  20. Hetter, Katia (December 16, 2015). "Fan favorite Jordan Smith wins 'The Voice'". CNN. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  21. "American Idol Season Six Top 24 Contestant Phil Stacey". Americanidol.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  22. "Zawadzki First Flame to Reach the Majors". 2010-04-30.
  23. "Lee Alum Jordan Lee Wins Emmy". Chattanoogan. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  24. http://www.gcsu.edu/president/biography
  25. http://www.house.ga.gov/Documents/Biographies/coomerChristian.pdf
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