Lee University farewell celebration event for Conns canceled, for now

By KAITLIN GEBBY
Posted 4/1/20

A two-day event designed to honor Dr. Paul and Darlia Conn, and their 34 years in the Lee University presidency, has been canceled “for the time being.” The tribute event was originally …

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Lee University farewell celebration event for Conns canceled, for now

LEE UNIVERSITY President Dr. Paul Conn is pictured with his wife, Darlia. Due to the need to focus strictly on the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it is impacting the Cleveland and Bradley County community, as well as the Lee campus and students, the Conns have asked that a two-day event scheduled in their honor in mid-April be canceled for the time being.
LEE UNIVERSITY President Dr. Paul Conn is pictured with his wife, Darlia. Due to the need to focus strictly on the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it is impacting the Cleveland and Bradley County community, as well as the Lee campus and students, the Conns have asked that a two-day event scheduled in their honor in mid-April be canceled for the time being.
Photo courtesy, LEE UNIVERSITY
Posted

A two-day event designed to honor Dr. Paul and Darlia Conn, and their 34 years in the Lee University presidency, has been canceled “for the time being.” 

The tribute event was originally scheduled for April 17-18 to celebrate Conn’s longtime presidency at the university in light of his scheduled transition into the chancellor role, announced in late 2019. But, the Lee University campus has announced that it will remain closed through those dates. In a letter to the Lee community, Dr. Conn said he was reluctant, but has ultimately decided that “even if we are able to resume classes on April 13, we need to focus all our energy and attention on delivering to students during this crisis.” 

“We just don’t need to divert the time, energy and effort into planning a big celebration,” he wrote. 

That “big celebration” was referred to as “our big fat farewell,” by the planning committee and the Conn family. 

“I’m not happy about it, of course. Everyone knows I enjoy a big party; we’ve had lots of them over the years. But I want all of us to pour ourselves completely into the challenge of providing our students with the best possible ‘Lee experience,’ whether it’s in a virtual or physical community,” he said. 

Conn added, “When I announced my resignation, I said, ‘This is the work I love, in the place I love, with the people I love.’ I feel that way more now than ever. So let’s focus on the work God has given to us to do together. 

“Somehow, God is going to bring good things out of all of this. I’m confident of that. ‘He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it!’” 

The letter did not offer a backup date for the tribute event. 

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