Lion - Fall 2019 - Family Of Dr. Edward L. Lee ’60 Funds Endowed Scholarship

Lion - Fall 2019 - Family Of Dr. Edward L. Lee ’60 Funds Endowed Scholarship

By Bruce E. Beans

Raised by his grandparents on nearby Russellville Road, as a young boy Dr. Edward L. Lee ’60 set his sights on attending Lincoln University. He knew a local physician who worked at Lincoln and was inspired by the stories of prominent alumni.

Lee worked hard, earning money by selling the Afro newspaper as a teenager. After being admitted to Lincoln, he once walked 3.5 miles to the mushroom plant where his grandmother worked in Oxford to pick up money to pay his tuition. 

This August, to celebrate his 81st birthday, Lee‘s family surprised him by establishing the Dr. Edward L. Lee '60 and Grace S. Lee Family Endowed Scholarship at Lincoln University to support full-time students majoring in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. 

“Lincoln is the foundation of everything,” he tells his family. “We would not be here without Lincoln.”

Says his wife of 43 years, Grace, “Lincoln is in his soul.”

As an undergraduate at Lincoln, the notoriously dapper dresser excelled academically. Lee taught other students chemistry and joined Beta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. His undergraduate experience was the foundation of a lifelong connection to Lincoln, underscored by the honorary Doctor of Science degree Lincoln bestowed upon him in 2006.

After working briefly as a research assistant at Howard University, Lee earned his medical degree from the Howard University College of Medicine (HUCM) in 1967. He began his residency at what was then called the Columbia University Hospital and Harlem Hospital in New York. Lee’s residency was interrupted by a tour of duty as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, where he served as a battalion surgeon in Vietnam. After he was wounded, Lee was honorably discharged, earning the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and a Purple Heart. 

Lee completed his residency at Columbia and met his future wife, who, at the time, was a nurse working at Harlem Hospital. He has enjoyed a long, distinguished career as a physician and scholar, earning board certifications in anatomic and clinical pathology and blood banking. Lee’s teaching career began at the University of South Florida Medical School as an assistant professor and director of blood banking services. He then spent 24 years at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, where he was a professor and vice chair of pathology, regional commissioner for the Veteran’s Administration’s Clinical Labs in the Southwest, and author or co-author of more than 90 research papers. In 2004, Lee returned to HUCM where he serves as chair of the Pathology Department and Residency Program director. Throughout his career, Lee has earned numerous awards and accolades. His passion remains mentoring and educating students of color in medicine. 

Lee is a proud and dedicated family man. Since 1975, he has been married to Grace S. Lee, a retired registered nurse. His son Chris Lee is head of Real Estate Americas at KKR in New York, New York. His son Julian Lee is a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division in Washington, D.C. He also has two grandchildren, James Lee and Daniela Lee, in New York.