Louise McBee, a longtime University of Georgia administrator who later went on to serve in the Georgia House of Representatives, died Tuesday at the age of 96.
McBee, a native of Tennessee, came to UGA in 1963 as dean of women and retired in 1988 as acting vice president for academic affairs, serving under four university presidents. She worked throughout her career to expand opportunities for women, such as chairing a committee that implemented Title IX, the federal law prohibiting gender-based discrimination.
“Dr. McBee was a role model for generations of students and faculty in Georgia and beyond,” Libby V. Morris, director of the Institute of Higher Education and Zell B. Miller Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, said in a UGA obituary. “Across her career, she was widely regarded as one of the most effective and influential women in Georgia politics and higher education. She led with integrity and challenged all whom she met to make a difference and give back.”
Four years after retiring from UGA, she ran as a Democrat for an Athens seat in the state House, where she served six terms, until 2004. She chaired the House Higher Education Committee and championed education. She strengthened teachers’ and university employees’ retirement, school lunch programs and the financial stability of the HOPE Scholarship.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp represented Athens in the state Senate during McBee’s final term.
“Rep. McBee was a dear friend, and I was proud to serve with her in the General Assembly, where she was a champion for Athens and students across Georgia,” Kemp told the AJC. “Please join us in praying for her loved ones as they mourn the loss of this great public servant.”
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
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