Operate with Humility: The chronicle of Candice Storey Lee’s Vanderbilt experience has been twenty years in the making. A star on and off the court, Lee stands out from a crowd but prefers to focus on leaving a lasting mark with no personal recognition. To “operate with humility” has become a mantra she lives by understanding that she has little control over what the universe sends your way. “Even when everything would appear to line up perfectly on paper,” she admits, the results are often left up to fate. For this reason, she puts effort into the process and dedicates her life to meaningful interactions with her players, colleagues, and supporters.
After her recruitment to the university’s basketball team, Lee went on to earn multiple degrees and now serves in both the athletics and academics domains. Always a leader, Candice Storey Lee went from team captain to university administrator. Each year she spends on Vanderbilt’s campus is another year of relentless commitment and fine-tuned expertise. She credits her father’s military-career fueled life lessons and dedicated mother for her drive. She’s both inspired by her passion for athletics and supported by a “mission-focused” mentality and seriousness that ensures things get done.
Lee meets each day with the same energy she demonstrated on the court. “The opportunity to serve student-athletes and be on a college campus is so energetic,” Lee said. “There’s just something about it. No two days are the same, which can be invigorating.” Her unique perspective, having also been a student-athlete, has proven beneficial in her line of work. She intimately understands the needs of students and incorporates them into the university’s culture as possible. The university is known for its commitment to excellence in all respects, so the expectations for her students are high. Lee does her best to entrench these students in the very fiber of Vanderbilt’s fabric, creating an unbreakable connection between the two. It’s no wonder why she’s chosen to make Vanderbilt her home for the last two decades, she embodies that spirit of success. “Vanderbilt forces me to be better every single day,” Lee gushes.
And that feeling is very mutual. David Williams, Vanderbilt’s Athletics Director, gushes about our honoree, “Candice arrived at Vanderbilt as a seventeen-year-old women’s basketball player. She was the true example of what a student-athlete is and what college athletics is all about. She led her team to victories fighting off injuries that made playing difficult at times. She earned three degrees including her doctorate degree while playing and working. She has taken that experience and her education to work her way up from an athletic intern, to an academic counselor, to the head of compliance, to Deputy Athletic Director and Associate Vice Chancellor with major responsibilities for women’s basketball and football amongst other duties. She is a leader of leaders and a major supporter and friend of student-athletes who understands and fights for what is good and right about college athletics. We need Candice Lee in the top leadership positions in College Athletics and I am proud, honored and so pleased that CollegeAD has recognized her for the important honor of being included in its 2018 NEXT UP class. Candice Lee is the real deal.”
It’s clear that both Lee and the university are better together than they ever were apart. We are excited to celebrate Candice Storey Lee as a NEXT UP designee because she represents a next level understanding of what it takes to be a winner in the field and the work ethic needed to get there. She embodies the Vanderbilt mission towards excellence and represents the students and university in her own way, reminding us that a “good dose of humility never hurt anyone”. She is motivated, dependable, and ultimately driven by a passion that is palpable.