Jeanne Marie and Rhoady Lee, Jr.: First-ever recipients of St. Ignatius Medal

In a true extension of their legacy, the Lees' children honored their parents with gifts to complete and name the Jeanne Marie and Rhoady Lee Jr. Center for the Arts

With their selfless dedication and service to Seattle University providing inspiration to countless others, Rhoady, '50, and Jeanne Marie, '51, Lee embody the core values of Seattle University.

To honor the Lees' leadership and voluntary service, the university awarded its inaugural St. Ignatius Medal to the couple this fall.

“Service, being at the core of Jesuit teachings and the Catholic faith, is a hallmark of our community,” said President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. “The Lees exemplify this through unwavering faith in our mission and selfless dedication to our progress. Their efforts are truly the foundation upon which past and future accomplishments have been built.” The Lees didn't know they would receive the award until it was announced Nov. 10, 2007, at the 24th Annual Seattle University Gala.

“It was a complete surprise,” said Jeanne Marie. “We didn't know who they were talking about until they started the video,” referring to a tribute shown at the Gala. “It was a wonderful moment. I was overwhelmed. We truly appreciate the honor.”

The Lees met at Seattle University more than 50 years ago when they both were students. Rhoady graduated in 1950 with a degree in commercial science. Jeanne Marie earned a philosophy degree a year later.

During the ensuing decades they made the university an integral part of their lives, contributing time, money and leadership to advance its ongoing progress. Rhoady has served on the Alumni Board of Governors, the President's Club Steering Committee and the university's Board of Trustees. They also lent their efforts and leadership to numerous other charitable and faith-based efforts in the Seattle community.

Jeanne Marie said it is gratifying to see the university's ambitious plans come to fruition. That progress, she said, can be measured both in the high quality of students and faculty and the physical changes to the campus.

The Lees themselves have helped that transformation through their support of numerous projects, including the Casey Building, the Quadrangle and Upper Mall project, the Chapel of St. Ignatius, the new home for the School of Theology and Ministry and the Student Center.


From the Winter 2008 issue of the Campaign Newsletter