Rollins Appoints New Vice President for Student Affairs

Donna A. Lee has been named vice president for student affairs. She will join the College July 21.

Rollins welcomes Donna A. Lee, who will join the College as vice president for student affairs on July 15, 2021.

Since 2015, Lee has served as the vice president for student affairs at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she oversees a division of more than 100 student affairs professionals. She provides vision and leadership for everything from residential life and student engagement to health and wellness and multicultural affairs, developing and implementing salient strategies within these areas to promote diversity and inclusion.

“In seeking leadership for student affairs at Rollins, my focus was on finding a seasoned professional who would be a passionate champion of our mission and the values of a residential liberal arts campus committed to inclusion, community, care, and connection,” says President Grant Cornwell. “What is also critical at this time is expanding upon our collective commitment to racial justice and diversity and inclusion. Donna Lee’s depth of expertise in all of these areas is unmatched, and we are honored to welcome her back to the Rollins community."

Lee is returning to Rollins after serving in the College’s student affairs office in various capacities from 1996 to 2006, when she became interim dean of the department before being named permanently to the role in February 2007. After a decade at Rollins, she took the helm of the division of student life at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, where she created new programs and departments to deepen student learning, including the Center for Diversity and Inclusion that focuses on providing education, resources, and advocacy in pursuit of social justice. 

“Never would I have imagined that I’d have the opportunity to return to Rollins College, the place I had called home for 13 years,” says Lee. “The mission of Rollins—educating students for global citizenship and responsible leadership—and the principles that guide the College—excellence, innovation, and community—are the very things that have informed the way I do the work. It is with great humility, honor, and enthusiasm that I accept this role, working collaboratively with a distinguished cadre of leaders and educators in pursuit of providing an education that prepares the next generation of leaders to effect change in the world.” 

In addition to the leadership she has provided at her institutions, Lee is a nationally recognized student affairs leader with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion. She has led and participated in numerous workshops, educational opportunities, and immersion experiences over several decades. 

“I was fortunate to engage with Donna Lee during a virtual meeting, and she came across as extremely hardworking, goal-oriented, and student-focused,” says SGA president Manny Rodriguez ’21. “Her authenticity and genuine care for students was inspiring; she absolutely seems like someone willing to take time out of her day to help others improve and grow. I think she’ll be a great asset to the Rollins community and that students will love working with her.”