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Lee's gift a sign of BU's community impact

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Binghamton University announced Wednesday that Dr. Bai Lee donated $1 million to the school's athletic department to renovate and expand the strength and conditioning facilities for the student athletes. It's the largest gift to the athletic department in university history and among the largest gifts ever donated to the school by a private individual.

Anytime someone is willing to donate $1 million, it's reason to celebrate. It's one thing when the sizable donation comes from a prominent alum as a thank you for four years of a valuable education. But, as BU President Harvey Stenger says, it means as much or more when that donation comes from a member of the community.

"You never know where those philanthropic feelings are and sometimes, somebody who's close to you - physically close to you and gets to know so many different people from being their physician to being the doctor who delivered their sons or daughters," Stenger said. "There's a story I told, one of our assistant trainers gave [Lee] a big hug because he delivered her. So the personal connection to Dr. Lee might even be stronger than an alum who's been here for four years. But it also says that we've got a great presence in the community, that the community appreciates Binghamton University and wants to give back and help Binghamton University be the best it possibly can."

To honor Dr. Lee for the gift, the school will name the basketball court in the Events Center the "Dr. Bai Lee Court." The official unveiling will take place prior to the men's home opener against Army on November 15.