11/2/2009 - Music student awarded fifth annual "Mary Whitfield Lee Scholarship"
By Michael J. Brooks
Judson College has awarded the fifth annual "Mary Whitfield Lee Scholarship" to Sarah Jean Watters of Sprott for the current academic year.
"I'm grateful for this scholarship," Watters said. "It's an honor to receive it and it will help significantly with my tuition costs."
Watters is the daughter of Ruben and Beth Watters of Sprott and a 2007 graduate of Morgan Academy in Selma.
Watters is pursuing a double-major in music and psychology and plans a career in social work. She is a member of the Judson Singers, the Faith ensemble and a vocal student of Dr. Betty Campbell.
The scholarship seeks to honor the memory of "Whit" Lee who was an outstanding Perry County student and athlete.
Lee died on August 8, 1976 just a few days after a driver lost control of her vehicle outside Birmingham and slammed into the station wagon carrying Lee and other Judson College softball players to a tournament in north Alabama.
Lee attended Marion public schools, Perry Christian School and Morgan Academy in Selma before entering the high school division of Marion Military Institute.
She graduated first in her class at MMI Prep with a 98.2 average and never received any grade lower than an A. She was valedictorian, a member of the National Honor Society, won the Daughters of the American Revolution "Good Citizen Award," was listed among "Who's Who of High School Students" and "Distinguished High School Students" in 1974-75 and was a National Merit Scholarship finalist.
Lee scored a perfect 36 on her ACT math test and was offered scholarships by several colleges and universities, but chose to be a math major at Judson.
She was recognized at the 1976 Honors Convocation as having the highest academic average in the sophomore class - a perfect 4.0.
At Judson, Lee was high scorer and a starting guard on the basketball team, averaging better than 20 points per game and was selected for the 1975 All-Star Team at the Alabama Women's Intercollegiate Basketball Tournament.
She was a member of the field hockey team that defeated both Vanderbilt and Sewanee, and a member of the 1975 tennis team that lost first place to Auburn by one point in the Alabama Women's Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament. She was also a member of the volleyball team, A-Board and the Blazer Club.
The Lee family had a number of Judson connections. At the time of Whit Lee's death, her mother was employed in the Judson library, her brother was a Judson admissions counselor and her sister was a Judson student.
Individuals wishing to honor the memory of Mary Whitfield Lee by contributing to the scholarship endowment may send gifts to the Mary Whitfield Lee Scholarship Fund at Judson College. For more information contact the Office of Development at 334.683.5109.
*Pictured above: Dr. Betty Campbell with Sara Jean.
*Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Office.