Lee News

Wickes Named Lee University 2018 Honorary Alumna of the Year


During Homecoming earlier this month, Lee University President Dr. Paul Conn named Mary Beth Wickes the Honorary Alumna of the Year.

“If you like Lee music, you’ve got to love this woman,” said Conn. “She is the heart and soul of the Lee University School of Music. She’s been a part of the scene there for over 30 years — and not just a part of the scene, but in many years, Mary Beth has been the glue that holds it all together.”

Wickes Named Honorary Alumna
Dr. Paul Conn presents Mary Beth Wickes with Honorary Alumna Award.

Wickes moved to Cleveland when her husband became the music minister at First Baptist Cleveland. She first served at Lee as the administrative assistant to the chair of the Department of Music in 1987, serving in a variety of both administrative and musical roles since that time.

Wickes has accompanied hundreds of music students during her time at Lee. She became the director of accompanying at Lee’s School of Music in 2003, coordinating the staff accompanists as well as serving as a staff accompanist. She is also the accompanist for Choral Union, one of the university’s vocal ensembles.

She served as pianist/organist and adult ensemble director at First Baptist Church for 26 years and later as organist at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. She received her Master of Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Mobile.

“I don’t know of anyone who’s contributed more to what we do here,” said Conn. “I don’t know of anyone who’s more deeply loved by our music students than this lady. When you mention Mary Beth Wickes to a Lee music student, you put a smile on somebody’s face.”
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