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NWAC Hall of Fame


Lee Thornton

Lee Thornton

Columbia Basin College
Class of 2009

Lee was the Columbia Basin College president from 1995 until 2008. He was instrumental in combining the men's and women's basketball tournament and finding a common venue in the Tri-Cities. He earned a Ph.D. in mass media from Michigan State University and did post doctoral work at the University of Texas at Austin. During his tenure at Columbia Basin College, he helped raise the financial support of student-athletes, raised expectations regarding behavior, game management, fundraising and marketing. He looked for opportunities to demonstrate to student-athletes that he appreciated and supported their contributions to the overall mission of the institution, Lee also worked to convince system presidents in the Northwest of the value of supporting athletics, the economic value to the institution, demonstration institutional excellence, supporting access and honoring athletes and recognizing their contributions while playing and after graduation.

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