2019 Lee College distinguished alumni announced

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Lee College named its 2019 Distinguished Alumni at the annual Lee College Alliance members' meeting and dinner reception on Aug. 6. This year, the Distinguished Alumni awards were divided into three categories: John Britt '57, Distinguished Alumnus; Mary Beth Wendel Woods '75, Meritorious Award; and Melanie Stewart '08, CRNA, DNP, APRN, Outstanding Young Alumnus.

The Distinguished Alumni award is the most prestigious honor given by the Lee College Alliance. The title is reserved for alumni and friends who have worked to advance the mission of Lee College and excelled in their profession, life’s work or service to the community.

The guest speaker for the evening was author and Lee College alumnus, Glenn Blake, who shared an excerpt from his latest book, The Old and The Lost.

Donna Britt accepted the Distinguished Alumnus award on behalf of her late husband, John Britt, who passed away in 2018. Britt was a well-known and beloved historian and professor at Lee College for over 50 years, and was instrumental in forming many of the college’s educational programs that still thrive today.

“Lee College presented him with an opportunity,” Britt said. “And it was here he wanted to make a difference in this community.”

Mary Beth Wendel Woods, Meritorious Award winner and president of Peach Marketing and Communications in Austin, said Lee College gave her the vision she needed to succeed in her education and career.

“Lee College gave me an incredible foundation,” said Woods. “Students who are here now will see: Lee College will form your future.”

Lee College Alliance plans to recognize future noteworthy alumni and friends by selecting Distinguished Alumni award winners on an annual basis. To nominate an individual for a future award, go to

The association for former students and friends of Lee College began in 2006 under the name, “Former-Lee,” and was renamed Lee College Alliance in 2013. Since then, the organization has expanded to more than 360 members, and the network of alumni and friends continues to grow. The goal of the Lee College Alliance is to build a spirit of school pride and provide alumni with opportunities for social networking, personal enrichment, community involvement and life-long learning.