Dr. Daniel Lee ’84 will be forever grateful for his Berea experience—and he’s showing it in a multitude of ways.
“Every step of the way somebody has been helping me,” he said of the incredible friends and relationships he developed at Berea. “I certainly want to do my part to help Berea students.”
Daniel came to Berea from Hong Kong after his older brother and sister, also Berea graduates, encouraged him to study at Berea College. Even then, he had a specific goal for his education—to become a neurologist. He settled on this goal after his mother became ill with brain cancer.
“I was determined to become a neurologist to take care of my mother,” he said. Although Daniel’s mother passed away, he remained motivated to become a doctor. “I was even more determined to be able to have higher education.”
That motivation led Daniel to work for a year in a rubber band factory. That hard work allowed him to save enough money for a one-way ticket to the United States and Berea College. Adjusting to American life was tough for him, but he found the campus welcoming, and everyone was willing to help him make the adjustment. One special memory is a teacher who pushed him to take part in a public speaking competition—which he won—even though English is his second language. Daniel says he appreciates that, while kind, his professors challenged him.
“The professors were very patient with me,” he said. “Ms. Barbara Wade was my teacher in Issues and Values. She was a tough teacher, but that helped me to learn.”
Daniel expresses his appreciation for Berea by taking Berea students and graduates into his practice for work experience. A member of the medical school acceptance committee at the University of Kentucky, he also coaches Bereans on how they can best qualify for medical school. He served as a speaker at the Opening Convocation in 2015, and he has helped numerous Bereans through his willingness to teach.
“We certainly enjoy having all of those students,” Daniel said. “I want to be able to share with them what Berea has given me.”
Daniel also gives back financially by helping to fund a classroom in the Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building. He attended an early planning session for the building and immediately knew he wanted to “put his money where his mouth is.”
“I want to give back to Berea,” Daniel said. “This is only just a portion of what Berea has given me for all these years.”