UCSB Recreational Sports Director Paul Lee will officially retire on June 29 after 35 years of serving the campus and promoting what he called “the power of play.”
Throughout his career, Lee created the Student Medical Emergency Relief Fund, worked with Isla Vista Parks and Recreation, served on the board of the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association and helped draft fee initiatives to benefit the program. Lee also leaves behind the Legacy Fund which he created in hopes of keeping the programs alive despite recent and future budget cuts.
According to Recreational Sports Marketing Student Manager Rochelle Farnum, a third-year communication major, Lee worked tirelessly to develop the program into its current state.
“In my opinion, he has built it up to what it is today,” Farnum said. “We have a picture of what Rec Sports used to be in the office, and it used to be a little trailer. We now have 55 different programs and it is all due to the choices he made and his dedication as a director and passionate individual.”
Farnum said Lee will continue to influence the programs whether or not he holds an official position.
“I think part of it is the fact that he spent half his life at this career,” Farnum said. “We don’t really know the full reasons, but part of it is political. He realized he is ready to start a new chapter of his life. He has done so much that he leaves behind a great foundation for the future.”
According to Farnum, Lee went above and beyond his job title to create a progressive environment for everyone around him.
“The biggest thing about Paul is he adds value to reach individuals he is in touch with,” Farnum said. “He treats everyone like a human being. I always felt comfortable coming to him with any problems I have. He is more than a director and a mentor. I am absolutely blessed to have had him in my life. There is not enough paper in the world to capture all the great things about Paul Lee.”