Sylvia Lee

2013 Corn Mother Honoree


Born in 1958, Sylvia Lee is one of three generations of her family born in the Year of the Dog. Her mother Sofia was born in 1922, and daughter Brooke was born in 1994. The parallels that surround their lives are unique. Sylvia was raised as the only childof a single mother, and she raised her only child as a single mother. In addition, she and her mother both survived ovarian cancer in their 40’s.

Although she was ready to drop out of college forever, Sylvia was given a second chance through the open door philosophy of Pima Community College, where she obtained an Associate’s Degree. She continued her educational journey and earned a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. from Arizona State University. After a thirty-year career in higher education, she retired as president of one of Pima Community College’s campuses. In 2012, she was elected to the Pima Community College Board of Governors to serve an unpaid, six-year term.



“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
— Vivian Greene

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