Lee University will host “Desegregation at Lee College” with guest speaker Bishop Quan Miller, one of the first African-American students to attend Lee. The event will take place on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Walker Lecture Hall, located in Lee’s Science & Math Complex.
“Lee doesn’t have a written history, so it’s easy to gloss over the more difficult parts of our history,” said Dr. Carolyn Dirksen, director of faculty development, who has been at Lee since 1968, just two years after Lee desegregated. “It’s important to look back over the first 100 years and examine what were important crossroads of Lee. We want to tell the true story, the highs and the lows, and desegregation is an important part of that story.”
Mr. Miller, who attended Lee in the early 1970s, was among some of the first African-American students to attend Lee. He strived to help Lee integrate faster by founding The Evangelist Crusade Team, being the first African-American student to join Pioneers for Christ, and successfully lobbying for the college to celebrate and recognize Black History Month.
Mr. Miller’s presentation will be a first-hand account of what it was like to be an African-American student at Lee College and examine what he personally did to help set the groundwork for the modern-day Lee University.
“He was in the vanguard of that group,” said Dr. Dirksen. “He brought about needed and significant changes to the college by being an extremely energetic social-changer.”
Prior to Mr. Miller’s presentation, Lee history professor Dr. John Coats will talk briefly about Lee’s history with segregation and the journey to becoming a desegregated school, a journey which began in 1966 when the first three African-American students were admitted.
"There are people in the Cleveland community who remember Lee when it was segregated and lived through this time with us,” said Dr. Dirksen.
Wednesday’s event is sponsored by the Centennial Committee, which will organize events for the duration of 2018 to commemorate the 100th year of Lee University.
For more information about the event, contact Dr. Dirksen at email@example.com.