April 18, 2003page 4 of 28

Wilcox announces December retirement plans

By Stephen Baehl
Copy Editor
April 18, 2003

Lee Wilcox, Vice President of Student Affairs

After 42 years of service in higher education, the past six of which have been at Tech, Vice President of Student Affairs Lee Wilcox will retire this December.

Despite the fact that, as Wilcox said, "Working in student affairs really keeps you young," he felt it was time to retire. "I wanted to enjoy recreation and travel while I still could," he said.

Wilcox came to Tech in June 1997 following "a period of a decade or so where our student affairs operations had languished for lack of leadership," said President Wayne Clough. "He restored the credibility of the student affairs division."

Wilcox said a summary of his job is to "represent student interests within the administration."

However, he did so much more than that.

"Dr. Wilcox is a true friend of the student body," said undergraduate SGA Executive Vice President Nate Watson. "He faithfully worked to help the student body on numerous issues, from the Student Bill of Rights to the Academic Life fund."

Wilcox oversaw many other improvements to student life at Tech, as well. According to Clough's email announcing Wilcox's retirement, "New activities included the major grant obtained for Georgia Tech to undertake GT SMART to reduce high-risk drinking, Georgia Tech's first Women's Resource Center, Ramblin' Nights, the When the Whistle Blows Ceremony, and a broadened academic integrity initiative."

Most notable, however, is his role in the conception and development of SAC II. "I've put more time in on SAC II than any other single thing," said Wilcox.

Wilcox also worked on the Student Leadership Initiative, improving diversity at Tech, and, on the whole, "trying to promote a sense of community; in other words, trying to minimize the 'we-they' attitude," he added.

In order to get more students involved in campus, Wilcox also strengthened support of student organizations, encouraged extracurricular activity participation through the leadership initiative, and has worked to hire people skilled in increasing student involvement.

Wilcox said he loved working with students. "Watching people grow and develop through their Georgia Tech experience and knowing that I played some small part, directly or indirectly, in that is great," he said.

Wilcox also gave a great deal of credit for recent successes to President Clough. "He's been a great leader for Tech, not just in technology, but also in student life," he said. Wilcox feels he is leaving with things under his control in good shape. "Leaving when you know you have a good team and good programs feels better than leaving when the ship is sinking," said Wilcox.

As President Clough said, "Georgia Tech owes him a great deal."

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