E. Ann McGee, Ph.D.
Residence: Winter Park, Florida
Organization: Seminole State College of Florida in Sanford, FL
Occupation: College president
First job: I started working when I was 16 to earn money for college. I worked a number of jobs, from short-order cook to teaching tennis. My first full-time career position was teaching Speech and English at Florida Keys Community College in Key West, FL. My office was on a Navy barge/houseboat that had been converted to offices. It listed at high tide.
Philosophy: “Joy for the Journey”…this is NOT a dress rehearsal!
Favorite music: Island music – particularly Jimmy Buffett. I lived in Key West for 11 years during a time when Jimmy Buffett would just “show up” at a local bar and play his tunes. Country, soft jazz, and disco are also favorites.
Favorite movie: "Singing in the Rain” – I love the music, dancing, and the happy ending!
Favorite book: Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I enjoy starting the day being inspired.
What got me interested in my work: I was 16 when I started college at St. Petersburg Junior College. I wanted to attend Duke, but my parents didn’t have the money and they thought that I was too young to go away from home. The faculty and staff at SPJC were incredible mentors to me and really helped to guide my development as a young woman. When my speech teacher invited me to participate in a speech tournament in Panama City and I placed 2nd in Oral Interpretation, I was hooked! My parents kept asking me what I was going to do with a degree in speech. My answer was that I didn’t know, but that I loved it. As a college president, I can’t think of a better major other than law. As a junior at Florida State University, I had the opportunity to work at my alma mater, St. Petersburg Junior College, during the summer. After that summer, I knew that working in a community college was where I belonged!
Greatest accomplishment: I like the thought that life is “falling forward.” So, I feel like my greatest accomplishment hasn’t occurred yet…it is just around the corner!
Success is... Helping others to find their way while not losing yours.
Pet Peeve: Negative people. Life is a gift. We each have a responsibility to live it to the fullest and use all of the gifts that God gave us to better our world and the lives of those around us. Make an impact!
Favorite Quote: “Too much of a good thing is WONDERFUL.” Mae West
Current Project(s): Successfully completing Seminole State College’s $12 million capital campaign that was launched in conjunction with our 50th Anniversary; raising an additional $13 million to build a new Student Services building; chairing the Heart of Florida United Way and using the position as a way to help local business leaders better understand the needs of our community; leading Seminole State into our next 50 years…
How has NACCE impacted your work? NACCE has been a great resource for Seminole State College as we sought their practical advice to help us launch our successful AS degree in Entrepreneurship. Through the knowledge and contacts gained through NACCE, we have: formed an active business advisory team; supported an entrepreneurship student competition involving external judges; helped a student gain venture capital; instituted a capstone course that partnered students with real world industry problems; and achieved the distinction of being awarded the Chancellor’s Leadership Award for instituting a course that provides students with industry problem-solving skills prior to graduation.