Lee University ranked in top 50 of “Best Regional Colleges of 2019” report

Lee University ranked in top 50 of “Best Regional Colleges of 2019” report

U.S. News and World Report recently ranked Lee in the Top 50 of best Regional Universities for the southern region.

Courtesy of Lee University Office of Public Relations

Lee University’s rank has continued to rise in the U.S. News & World’s “Best Colleges of 2019” report, ranking #47 in the “Regional Universities” category. 

In the special edition report released on Monday, Sept. 10, Lee claimed its spot out of 165 other Southern universities, which included both public and private universities.

Vice President for University Relations Jerome Hammond said he was grateful for Lee’s high ranking in U.S. News & World’s report.

“It’s rewarding,” Hammond said. “The Lee culture is one of constant improvement, so it’s rewarding to be recognized as both excellent and still improving.”

Lee is deemed as one of the largest Christ-centered private universities in the nation and is growing in reputation as an institution. Along with its ranking in the “Best Regional Universities” category, Lee was ranked #24 according to school values, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Associate Professor of Sociology Arlie Tagayuna explained how the change in Lee’s framework has led to campus-wide improvement.

“The infrastructure has significantly improved,” Tagayuna said. “There has been an improved diversity climate of the student population and vetted, great, new and young professors who are movers and shakers that will inspire young minds and the future.” 

Lee’s student population has quadrupled from 1,214 students in the fall of 1986 to 5,370 in the fall of 2017. Students enrolled hailed from 51 U.S. states and territories as well as 51 foreign countries, according to the report.

Senior anthropology major Olivia Anderson also said having supportive faculty and staff has significantly impacted her time at Lee.

“[It’s] ultimately realizing these people do care about you,” Anderson said. “They want you to feel comfortable and they want you to succeed.”

Professor of Anthropology and Sociology Murl Dirksen said he takes great pride in the impact Lee’s faculty and staff have made over the years.

“I am so proud and fortunate to have been a part of the development of Lee University in terms of quality of faculty, eminence of facilities, quality of students and impact that our graduates are making around the globe,” Dirksen said. “Lee has gone from being a little-known quantity to being an internationally known institution of excellence.”

With the celebration of Lee’s recognition comes more excitement and hopefulness towards Lee’s future, according to Hammond.

“Hopefully we can continue to build the campus as opportunities and student needs arise,” Hammond said. “There are also some exciting academic programs on the horizon if we can stay focused on the things that got us here.”

Tagayuna echoed the hopefulness in Lee’s improvement for upcoming years that includes students engaging in a diverse learning environment.

“I want Lee to move forward as an institution that has a global mindset,” Tagayuna said. “That is fully committed to the care of spreading the love of Christ to others and at the [same] time be a liaison for the local community to improve the lives of others.”

For more information on the U.S. News & World Report rankings of Universities visit their website.

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