Mississippi College | Beacon Magazine

MC's Leading Man

MC's Leading Man

President Lee Royce Wins Executive Leadership Award

Mississippi College President Lee Royce has received a major award from one of the nation’s premier higher education organizations.

"Lee Royce is a remarkable leader who knows how to create a compelling institutional vision and then inspire faculty, staff, and students to unite in efforts to turn that vision into reality."

-Ron Howard, vice president for academic affairs

Saluted for creating a vision for his university, inspiring others, encouraging innovation among faculty and staff, and other notable accomplishments, Royce was the 2014 recipient of the Council for the Support of Education’s (CASE) District III Executive Leadership Award. The honor is presented annually to chief executives at universities in the group’s Southern region spanning Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Echoing the CASE endorsement, colleagues at MC agree that Dr. Royce was an excellent choice.

“Lee Royce is a remarkable leader who knows how to create a compelling institutional vision and then inspire faculty, staff, and students to unite in efforts to turn that vision into reality,” said Ron Howard, vice president for academic affairs.

A Vanderbilt University alumnus who became president in July 2002, Dr. Royce has led a Mississippi College construction renaissance, seen enrollment skyrocket, successfully pushed for greater financial stability, and spearheaded the “Growing the Vision” campaign, which raised $87.4 million.

“Thrilled, but not surprised,” was MC trustee Andy Taggart’s response when learning that Royce had been recognized with the high honor. “MC is a great university for many reasons. We should all be gratified that those whose profession is higher education realize that Dr. Lee Royce is one reason we are where we are at this time in our history.” 

The CASE honor also recognizes campus leaders who create a positive image of their school and actively support fund-raising with a high level of success. Under Royce’s leadership, Mississippi College’s operating budget has climbed 69 percent and enrollment has increased by 82 percent. MC has seen an 89 percent reduction in long-term debt, and the institution has hired 42 more full-time faculty members. In short, said Debbie Norris, graduate school dean, “Dr. Royce leads Mississippi College in ways that have truly made our faculty and staff proud.”

“Lee Royce leads by doing and gives his all to assisting others in applying their talents to the task at hand,” said Howard. “He’s taken MC to new levels of academic achievement and Christian commitment.”