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Kinesiology Department

Eva J. Lee, Ph.D., 2015 Honorary R Award and 2012 Meritorious Service Award Winner

EvaHallofFameDr. Eva Lee came to the Rice campus in 1969 as a physical education instructor and to help run the women’s sports programs.  She unexpectedly found herself a home for the next 40 years; Lee was awarded Professor Emeritus status in 2000. 

She coordinated women’s basketball, volleyball, and tennis and also taught in the Department of Kinesiology.  At the time, women’s athletics were not formally organized, so Lee’s involvement coaching those sports required practices and travel, not financed by the university, to venues outside of Houston.  These activities were outside of her actual job responsibilities. 

Equally important was Lee’s role as a faculty associate and, from 1975 through 1983, as a Resident Associate at Jones College, where she assisted in the transition from an all-female to a co-ed residential college.  In addition, she served as Director of the Equal Opportunity Office (EEO) for thirteen years before to returning to Kinesiology in 1993 to resume her teaching and research responsibilities.  As the Director of the EEO, Lee formed a Women’s Commission and worked closely with the members to identify issues and develop avenues for correction of biases and misconceptions and to equalize workloads, position descriptions, and salaries of staff and faculty members. 

During her tenure as Director, she made great progress for minority employees and women faculty and staff.  Lee is still active on the Women’s Athletic Advisory Board and maintains an interest in all athletic endeavors.  As supporter Kathy Matthews said, she “cleared paths and paved roads so that the women who followed her would have a clearer, and easier, trek to their goals.  She opened new opportunities for women and minority faculty and staff.”  Lee was an integral female role model on the Rice campus for over 40 years, and she remains an inspiration to female graduates, faculty, and staff.

She was also a 2015 Rice Athletics Hall of Fame Honoree with the Honorary R Award and 2012 Meritorious Service Award Winner.  Congrats to Dr. Lee!