Vanderbilt promoted Candice Storey Lee to athletic director on Thursday, making her the first woman to hold the job at the school.
She also becomes the first African American woman to serve in the role in the Southeastern Conference, according to the conference.
Lee has worked at the school for more than 15 years and had been interim athletic director since Malcolm Turner resigned in February.
“Candice is perfectly positioned to lead our athletics program to new heights of success on and off the field of play. She has the drive, creativity, and perseverance to help elevate our student-athletes, and the entire Vanderbilt Athletics program,” incoming chancellor Daniel Diermeier said in a statement. “The progress that Vanderbilt Athletics has achieved in recent years, and our very high aspirations for the future, are grounded in the university’s commitment both to academic excellence and to preparing our student-athletes to play and win in one of the most, if not the most, competitive conferences in the country. Candice is the living embodiment of these values and aspirations.”
She will have the title of vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs, as well as athletic director.
Lee played basketball at Vanderbilt for four years and was a team captain, earning her bachelor’s degree in 2000. She went on to gain her master’s degree in 2002 and her doctorate in 2012 from the school.
“I am incredibly honored to lead the Commodores, and I could not have been in this position without the support of the university’s leadership, our dedicated coaches and staff, and all of Commodore Nation,” Lee said in a statement. “There are challenges ahead and much uncertainty about what college athletics can and should look like during a pandemic, but I firmly believe that anything is possible if we all work together.”