After nearly four decades of shaping young minds and cultivating one of the gems of campus, Janet Lee has announced her retirement.

As dean of the library, Lee helped shape generations of students who crossed the Boettcher Commons and climbed the steps of Dayton Memorial Library.

In recognition of her many contributions to the University's mission, research and scholarship, Lee has been awarded dean emerita status.

Regis and the Jesuit mission have always been part of Lee’s life. She graduated from Regis College in 1974 and immediately joined the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, a place that remains dear to her.

Lee started as a librarian at Regis in 1982, earned her master’s in 1990 and began as dean in 2012.

She returned to Ethiopia in 2010 to establish the Segenat Children and Youth Library. The library’s success caught the attention of the Ethiopian Community Development Council. Lee earned a Fulbright Scholar award in 2017 and returned to Ethiopia, where she partnered with the University of Aksum to expand its library. She helped investigate open access publishing and pushed for books to be in children’s first languages.

Lee’s work at Aksum served as the model for other libraries across Ethiopia. She also worked with African Storybook to publish “Abebech: the Female Bajaj Driver.” It was published in English and Amharic, an Ethiopian language. The book is free for anyone to download or read online.

Earlier this year, Lee was awarded the Magis Medal by Alpha Sigma Nu. The award honors those who display the Jesuit values in their work.