Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2008-02-05

Judge Helen Shores Lee will present the 2008 Marie NeSmith Fowler Lecture in Christian, Women and Leadership Studies at Samford University Thursday, Feb. 14.

Lee, circuit judge, Tenth Judicial Court of Alabama, will speak at 10 a.m. in Reid Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

"Judge Lee embodies the ideals of the Marie NeSmith Fowler Lecture and the Christian Women's Leadership Center at Samford," said CWLC director Dr. Carol Ann Vaughn.

"She is an excellent role model and has a wealth of experience and insight to share," Vaughn said of the woman who left her native Birmingham to earn a bachelor's degree from Fisk University and a master's degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University.

After marrying and living in California, Lee later returned to Birmingham and graduated from Samford's Cumberland School of Law.

She has been a magistrate for the City of Birmingham, a member of the law firm of Shores and Lee, and a member of the Alabama State Ethics Commission, which she served as chair during 1999-2000. In 2003, she became the first African-American woman judge in the civil division of the circuit court of Jefferson County.

A leader in a variety of civic and service organizations, Lee is chair of the Advisory Council of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Minority Health and Research Center.

"She is very generous with her time and support of young people," said Vaughn. "There is no one better suited than Judge Lee to speak to the issue of Christian Women's Leadership, not just academically, but from personal experience."

The Fowler lecture series honors Samford pharmacy alumna Marie NeSmith Fowler of Hartselle. It supports the CWLC's mission to provide learning opportunities for women to realize the fullest measure of their gifts in all areas of human endeavor.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.