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News: New scholarship established in memory of RSCC professor

Dr. Lee in the classroom

April 26, 2022

By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer

A new Roane State scholarship has been established in memory of a beloved professor who recently died and will be remembered in a Celebration of Life on Saturday, April 30.

The Dr. Arthur Lee Memorial Fund has been created through Roane State Foundation and will be used to provide a scholarship each year to a Roane State Community College student, officials said.

Donations to the new scholarship may be made online at or mailed to Roane State Foundation, 276 Patton Lane, Harriman, TN 37748.

Members of Dr. Lee’s family request contributions to the new scholarship be made in lieu of flowers.

Dr. Lee, a tenured geology professor who joined the Roane State faculty in 2000, died in February.

“We will miss our dear friend, colleague and teacher more than words can say,” said Dr. Diane Ward, Roane State’s vice president for student learning.

Members of Dr. Lee’s family along with Roane State faculty, students and the public will recall Lee during services at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 30, in the City Room of the Coffey-McNally Building on the Oak Ridge Campus.

“He was a beloved and tenured professor and dedicated teacher, earning the highest praise from his many students,” said Dr. Sylvia Pastor, an assistant professor whom Lee mentored. “His passion for education and for geology was contagious, and his devotion to his students unparalleled.”

“He was the sort of friend one feels truly blessed to have in their life,” said Gary Heidinger, associate professor of sociology and anthropology. “He was remarkably talented and deeply devoted to the craft of instruction, his academic subject area and, above all, his students.”

Joining Dr. Pastor and Professor Heidinger in offering comments about Dr. Lee on Saturday will be Roane State President Dr. Chris Whaley.

“It has been our honor to call Dr. Arthur Lee a member of the Roane State Family for the last 21 years,” President Whaley said. “His kind personality and wonderful sense of humor made such an impression on us all. We are devastated he is no longer with us, but Arthur will live on here at Roane State in the hearts and minds of everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.”

During his Roane State career, Dr. Lee helped bring to life a program called “Lab-in-a-Box,” a hands-on approach to learning science for middle school students in Roane State’s service area.

He recently taught inmates at the Morgan County Correctional Complex, driving there twice weekly for a lecture and to facilitate a lab session.

For those unable to attend in person, the service will be available via livestream on the college’s YouTube channel at or by using the following direct link:

Roane State Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation that seeks to enhance community awareness of the college, to secure private contributions and bequests, and to manage monies or properties given to the Foundation, including a nearly $11 million endowment. Roane State Foundation supports the college with capital projects, equipment, educational programs and scholarships. For more information or to make a gift to support Roane State students, visit, email, or call (865) 882-4507.

Roane State is a two-year college providing transfer programs, career-preparation programs and continuing education. Founded in 1971, the college has locations in Roane, Campbell, Cumberland, Fentress, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, and Scott counties as well as a branch campus in Oak Ridge. For more information, visit or call (865) 882-4554. Remember, eligible adults can now attend Roane State tuition-free with the new Reconnect grant. Learn more at

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