bill lee scholarship


In Memory of Bill Lee, 1950 – 2001

Bill Lee was born in Greensboro on November 28, 1950 and lived in the Gate City all his life. He attended Bessemer Elementary School and Bessemer Junior High School before graduating from Page High School in 1969. He went on to graduate from UNC-Pembroke in 1973 with a degree in Political Science. One year later, he married Theresa O’Rourke; the couple had three children, Mary Beth, Brian and Matt.

Bill's business career began in 1974 when he worked as a marketing representative for People Magazine. Five years later, Lee started his own company, Periodical Management and Marketing (PPM), a magazine marketing and merchandising company hired by retail chains to process and collect rebates offered by magazine publishers

In 1995, Lee's successful company, PPM, merged with a competitor to form The Source Information Management Company, known today as Source Interlink Companies, a $1 billion marketing, merchandising and fulfillment company of entertainment products in North America. After 25 years in the periodicals industry, Lee retired from the Source Interlink Co. in 1999 to pursue other business interests.

Between 1999 and 2001, Lee was an owner or partner in several bar and restaurant franchises. Lee was a major advocate of Greensboro’s downtown revitalization and development and a major part of Greensboro’s professional baseball efforts. In 2000, as a general partner of Greensboro’s Minor League team, he was instrumental in negotiating a contract extension with the New York Yankees through the 2002 season. A new baseball stadium in downtown Greensboro was dream and vision that Lee championed as an owner of the local team. A plaque honoring Lee’s many contributions to professional baseball in Greensboro adorns the outside of the Edgeworth Street wall of New Bridge Bank Park downtown.

Bill Lee had a favorite saying which defined the way he lived his life: Live every day like it’s your last but always plan for tomorrow. Lee died on February 4, 2001 following a courageous three-year battle with Cancer.

The $1,000 Bill Lee Memorial Scholarship was established by the Greensboro Sports Council following Lee’s death in 2001, but in 2010, the scholarship amount doubled to $2,000. Recipients are nominated by the schools participating in the Pizza Hut Invitational presented by NewBridge Bank each year, and the Greensboro Sports Council awards the scholarships. Each nomination is considered with the following criteria: 40% academic, 40% athletic and 20% civic. As many as four student-athletes receive a scholarship each year.