Oldest known living Alabama State graduate dies at 108

Updated: Jul. 25, 2017 at 1:09 PM CDT
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MACON CO., AL (WSFA) - Alabama State University is mourning the death of a 108-year-old woman who was believed to be the university's oldest known living graduate.

Ms. Clarissa Black Lee graduated from ASU in 1931, then spent the next 41 years of her life dedicated to teaching elementary school students in the Elmore County public school system.

Lee never forgot her Alma Mater, and she returned often, earning a total of three degrees including her associate's degree (1931), her bachelor's degree (1950), and master's degree (1957), all in elementary education.

ASU said their proud graduate's association with the university actually long before she enrolled. She was a student at the Lincoln Normal School in Marion, the founding school of Alabama State.

Lee last visited ASU's campus on July 27, 2016, almost a year to the day before her death in Macon County. School officials say she was welcomed by students, faculty, staff, and administrators when she arrived. She spoke of her love for ASU and her excitement to be able to return to campus.

ASU said she was "sharp, energetic, and full of the "Hornet Nation" spirit."

Lee was a lifelong member of Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Macon County and the Macon County Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

A funeral service was held on July 22 at her home church in Tuskegee.

The family requested that any memorial donations be made to the Clarissa B. Lee Scholarship Fund at Alabama State University.

Donations may be sent to:

The ASU Foundation
P.O. Box 241
Montgomery AL 36101

Checks should be made payable to: The ASU Foundation; memo line: Clarissa B. Lee.

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