The Harris County Historical Commission has decided to give the accolade to the college after reading a research paper from Celeste Butler, a student at the campus. The celebration is scheduled at 3:30pm Friday at Rundell Hall.
Butler wrote the paper for her American Studies course, an honors class that requires enrollees to spend the semester researching a topic. The Highlands native says she decided to write about the history of Lee College because several family members, including her mother and aunt, went there.
"Lee College has been a tradition in my family and so many other families for so long, I thought it would be fun to examine the way in which it has positively impacted our community," Butler said.
After Butler finished the class, Lee College's honors coordinator John Britt came across her paper and decided to take it to the next level.
"When I read Celeste's paper I knew I was looking at something special. Her work was so well-researched and so well-written, that I thought, 'There's no reason we can't use this as the basis for a historical marker justification.' So I contacted the Texas Historical Commission, and the real work began," Britt said.
Britt submitted the paper to the Historical Commission and Butler completed the additional research required for the college to earn the designation.
Now, Butler will be part of the celebration Friday.
"I'm nervous, I'm excited, but most of all I'm just so proud to have had the opportunity to be a part of this college, and a part of this process," she said. "Mr. Britt keeps giving me so much credit for this. But the real credit falls on him and the college. Professors such as Mr. Britt and places like Lee College encourage students to believe in themselves, and reach for goals that may have once seemed unattainable. And I'm honored to play a small role in helping the college gain the recognition it deserves."