UNCW Mourns the Passing of Helena Lee, First Director of Upperman African American Cultural Center

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The UNCW community is saddened to share news of the passing of Helena Joyce Lee, who served as the first director of the Upperman African American Cultural Center.

Lee joined UNCW in 1995 as the assistant director of the Office of Cultural Diversity, later renamed the Office of Minority Affairs, and as director of the Upperman Center. She left UNCW in 2004.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Elder Helena Lee. Her tenure as the longest-standing director of the center and having inaugurated a successful Saturday Sankofa academy are laudable accomplishments,” said Sean Palmer, executive director of the Upperman African American Cultural Center. “We seek to remember her in this, our 25th anniversary year, and hope to be able to celebrate her as we expand our offerings, our reach and space post-COVID-19. For today, we pray for her family and all of the many people whose lives she touched.”

Read the full article about Helena Lee here.