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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 21, Number 3, Fall 2007

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Volume 21, Number 3, Fall 2007

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George C. Lee Honored by White House

Oval Office group

President Bush with the recipients of the 2006 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in the Oval Office

On November 16, 2007, George C. Lee was among 11 people to receive the 2006 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President George W. Bush in a ceremony at the White House.

The annual award, administered by the National Science Foundation, recognizes commitment to mentoring students and improving the participation of minorities, women and disabled students in science, mathematics and engineering. The award includes a $10,000 grant for continued mentoring work and a Presidential certificate.

George is internationally recognized for his scholarship and leadership in multidisciplinary earthquake engineering, and is a leader in providing and sustaining educational opportunities in engineering. For nearly 40 years his mentoring efforts have led to thousands of underrepresented high school students in the greater Buffalo area being exposed to engineering and science.

George Bush shaking George Lee's hand

President George W. Bush
with George C. Lee

George was the principal founding member of BEAM, Buffalo Area Engineering Awareness for Minorities, an organization whose membership draws on Omega Psi Phi, a black professional men’s national fraternity, and the Buffalo City Schools in addition to the University at Buffalo population. He has designed, developed and obtained funding for a wide variety of highly effective mentoring programs, including research internships for students in grades 5-12 and their teachers; community programs; and leadership training programs.

At MCEER, Dr. Lee has worked to increase underrepresented group participation both among the Center’s researchers and in its executive committee. As a researcher and UB faculty member, he also has advised numerous students from underrepresented groups.

Prior to serving in his current roles as MCEER Special Tasks Director, Samuel P. Capen Professor of Engineering, and Senior University Advisor for Technology, George was MCEER Director (1992-2002), Chair, Department of Civil Engineering (1974-1977), and Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (1977-1995), Associate Director, Calspan-UB Research Center (1984-1989) and Acting Director, National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (1989-1991). More information is available at