Rhoady Lee and Jeanne Marie McAteer met at Seattle University, where Rhoady graduated in 1950 in Commercial Science and Jeanne Marie one year later in Philosophy. The Lees have contributed more than 50 years of volunteer service to Seattle University.
Both of the Lees graduated from Catholic high schools in Seattle; Rhoady from O'Dea and Jeanne Marie from Holy Names Academy. Neither of their parents attended college, so they were breaking new ground by coming to SU.
While they were students, Rhoady and Jeanne Marie became close to Fr. Arby Lemieux, beginning a friendship that lasted 30 years. It was Fr. Lemieux who recruited Rhoady to join the Alumni Board of Governors, beginning the couple's long history of service to Seattle University. Later, Rhoady served on the gala committee, and the President's Club Steering Committee. Fr. Sullivan recruited Rhoady to join the Trustees in 1982, marking the beginning of the Lees friendship with another great Seattle University president.
The Lees have helped transform the campus by supporting building projects, including the Casey Building, the Quadrangle & Upper Mall project, the Chapel of St. Ignatius, the new home for the School of Theology and Ministry, and the Student Center. Their generosity also extends to the Seattle University Gala, the Seattle University Annual Fund, Friends of the College of Arts and Sciences, and a scholarship in memory of Fr. Francis A. Logan. In 2005, their children – Sharon, Rhoady III, Tim, Maureen, Mary, Pat and Michael -- honored the Rhoady's contributions with their own, by contributing a gift in honor of their parents to name the Jeanne Marie and Rhoady Lee Jr. Center for the Arts.
In 1985, Rhoady was the very first recipient of Seattle University's Alumnus of the Year award. In 1997 the Lees received honorary doctorates from Seattle University.
In addition, Jeanne Marie Lee is past board president for Holy Names Academy and Rhoady helped found the first Board of Trustees for Forest Ridge School and served as its chair. He is also active with O'Dea High School. In 2002, the couple received the National Catholic Educational association award in recognition of their support of Catholic education.