Hodges University names student union after community leader
Hodges University has named its student union the Lee Pitts Student Union after community leader Lee Pitts. The 7,000 square-foot venue, located on the institution’s Fort Myers campus, features a full service cafeteria and coffee bar, and has served as a focal point and meeting place for students since the campus building was opened in 2012.
“When we were looking for naming opportunities for the student union I immediately thought of Lee Pitts,” explains Dr. Jeanette Brock, President of Hodges University. “He has done so much for the community, both for Hodges and in general. I thought it was important to recognize that. I wanted the students to see him as a positive role model and as such I think he is the perfect person for this honor. Hodges University is a leader in diversity and I think this recognizes our commitment to support those who have given to the community in all aspects, but certainly in diversity. Our student body is very diverse, and we feel that Lee is the perfect role model to display the importance of diversity in our community, in our schools and in our daily lives. Lee is the first African-American to be honored with a naming opportunity at Hodges University. As President, I am both pleased and proud that he has accepted this honor and that his name will forever be a part of Hodges University.”
“I am both shocked and humbled that Hodges would choose to name this facility after me,” said Pitts. “I just hope I can be a positive influence and role model for the students of Hodges University and all that will visit the student union.”
Lee Pitts Live debuted on local television in 1992 with Hodges University, then known as International College, as its first sponsor. In 2001, Lee Pitts Live became the longest running local TV talk show in the region. The 2014 season marks the 22nd year he has sat at the controls of the popular Southwest Florida based show. Lee has interviewed over 4,700 people.
A native of Birmingham, AL, Lee Pitts was raised in the low income Collegeville Public Housing projects where his mother, Johnnie, raised seven children. He is a graduate of Carver High, where he was student body president his senior year and a standout swimmer. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Talladega College and a Master of Economics from Clark Atlanta University.
In 1994, he was selected to Who’s Who in African-American History. Ebony magazine named him one of America’s most outstanding bachelors. He has received the NAACP Image Award, the Hodges University Excellence in Diversity Award and Southwest Florida People’s Choice Awards. He is a member of the Boys & Girls Club of America National Alumni Hall of Fame, the National Association of Black Scuba and 100 Black Men.