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Left to right, Dr. Bai Lee, Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger and Director of Athletics Patrick Elliott stand on the basketball court in the Events Center, which is being named in honor of Lee for his gift of $1 million to support the University's Athletics Department.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
$1M gift benefits Binghamton University Athletics
October 14, 2015Tweet
President Harvey Stenger was delighted to announce an historic gift to the University at a news conference on Wednesday —$1 million to support Binghamton University’s scholar-athletes, “courtesy of a great friend of mine and long-time supporter of the University and the greater Binghamton community, Dr. Bai Lee.”
This gift is the largest ever given to the University in support of its athletics programs, Stenger said, and counts among the largest gifts the campus has received from a private individual.
“I’m so excited and honored,” Lee said. “I’m very proud to be part of the Department of Athletics and Binghamton University as a whole.
“This community has supported me in my personal and professional endeavors for 43 years, and the University supports the community, so it’s only fitting I make the circle complete. I’m excited to have established a foundation of giving that will hopefully inspire others to give back. My family strongly believes in the value of philanthropy.”
A member of the Binghamton Foundation Board of Directors, Lee is the president of Lee Health Care, and senior attending gynecologist at UHS and Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital. He completed his post-graduate training and fellowship at New York Medical College. He served as director of the Perinatal Center at United Health Services in 1972, and became a partner at the Southern Tier Ob-Gyn Group in 1975.
In 2000, he established the Lee and Yum Foundation for charity and education.
“I’ve gotten to know Dr. Lee well, and appreciate both his vision and the commitment he has to the University and the broader community,” Stenger said, before relating two stories about Lee. The first was about a Binghamton University senior who was wondering whether to apply to medical school or not. Lee received a phone call, asking if the student could shadow him. “He said, ‘Of course. Immediately, as soon as she can get here.’ That student is now in medical school and he was a great mentor to her,” Stenger said.
The second story was much more recent: While touring the Events Center prior to the news conference, a student-athlete came up and hugged Lee. “How do I know you?” he asked. “You delivered me,” she said.
Lee’s comprehensive gift will support both the academic and competitive efforts of Binghamton athletes, including the Student-Athlete Success Center, which provides academic support for our student-athletes, Stenger said. “This gift has an impact that extends beyond the individual athletes who will benefit from better teaching, better training and better medical support.
“It will also help us recruit and retain better, stronger, faster, smarter scholar-athletes, and ensure that our teams remain on the winning path.”
Patrick Elliott, director of athletics, echoed Stenger’s comments, calling it a great day for Binghamton University athletics. “Dr. Lee is a man of great honor and integrity and a great friend. Throughout his career, he has positively impacted so many lives throughout our community in so many ways. Today, he further extends his impact.
“We are humbled by his generosity that will provide resources to enrich learning, social and training aspects for our student-athletes as we continue to move toward excellence in all of our endeavors,” Elliott said.
With Stenger saying he hoped Lee had a place in his house for it, Stenger, Elliott and Lee unveiled a large rendering of the basketball court with “Dr. Bai Lee Court” prominent on both sides. The official unveiling of the court will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, prior to the start of the men’s basketball game.