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Christian faith draws Lee back to alma mater

| Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009

Douglas Lee was happy during his career as an attorney in West Virginia.

However, he wasn't fulfilled. Something inside him was crying out for a way to have his Christian faith have a greater role in his daily life.

And then came a perfect opportunity with his alma mater, Waynesburg University.

In early October, Lee, a Charleroi native and 1977 Charleroi Area High School graduate, was named executive vice president of institutional advancement.

"Waynesburg College was where I was challenged to integrate my Christian faith into my personal and professional life," Lee said.

"I think it is essential to put faith into action by serving others. I enjoyed my career as a partner in a large law firm, but in the back of my mind, I always believed I could do more.

"In my new role at Waynesburg, I now have the opportunity to be an advocate for a university that educates students to make connections between faith, learning and serving so they can be positive agents of change in their communities, the nation and the world.

"For me, that's a very exciting opportunity."

Lee returned to Waynesburg, where he had a successful insurance agency for nine years after he received his degree from the institution in 1981.

While working in the insurance business, he decided that he wanted to be a lawyer, so he went to law school at West Virginia University.

Upon earning his juris doctorate, Lee went to work for Steptoe and Johnson, Attorneys at Law.

"It's a firm of 180 attorneys with offices in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky," Lee said. "I handled labor and employment law on behalf of employers."

Lee, who settled in Fairmont, W. Va., with his family and still lives there, said that he enjoyed his time as an attorney.

"But sometimes, you need a challenge in life," he said.

"The decision to come back to Waynesburg was prefaced by a lot of prayer. My wife, Kathyrn, and I are very excited to serve Waynesburg University."

Lee said, even while working in West Virginia, he never cut ties with his college alma mater. He was active with the alumni association and served on the university board of trustees.

"I've always loved the university," he said. "And the first three weeks of my new job here have been extremely fulfilling.

"This job is exciting. It's pretty much what has been in the back of my mind for a long time."

He paused for a moment and added, "I've been loving every day of it. When you make a career change, you sometimes second-guess yourself. I know I made the right decision."

A proponent for civic involvement, Lee is an elder in the Presbyterian Church and serves on the executive board for the Mountaineer Area Council Boy Scouts of America.

He also serves on the board of directors for the Union Rescue Mission in Fairmont.

An accomplished endurance athlete, Lee has completed three ironman distance triathlons and participated in several marathons, including the Marine Corps Marathon and Death Valley Marathon.

His mother, Donna Lee, still resides in Charleroi.

He and his wife, a 1976 Charleroi Area graduate, have two children, Lauren and Brendan.

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