2017 Distinguished Alumni of the Year
Michael Crawford - 2017 Alumnus of the Year, Associate of Science
Michael Crawford graduated Magna Cum Laude from Lake City Community College, now Florida Gateway College, in 1990 with his Associate of Science degree in Golf Course Operations. In the years since, he has excelled in the industry and received numerous awards and honors.
Mr. Crawford served as the Golf Course Superintendent for the Highlands Course at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Duluth, GA until 1995. Here, he supervised the construction of multiple courses.
From 1995 to 2015, he served as the Director of Golf Course Maintenance Operations for TPC Sugarloaf, also in Duluth, GA. During his tenure there, he hired and trained a staff of more than 38 employees, successfully prepared the course for 12 PGA TOUR and 3 Champions Tour events along with many other tournaments and championships, and garnered numerous industry awards.
In 2015, Mr. Crawford became a Competitions Agronomist for the PGA TOUR in Ponte Vedra, FL. In this position, he works with the Golf Superintendent of each PGA TOUR event’s host site to provide the best possible playing conditions for the scheduled competition in addition to maintaining course conditions for daily play throughout the year.
In his career thus far, he has worked or volunteered at more than 50 professional golf tournaments.
In 2013, he was named Superintendent of the Year by the Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association. Honors and awards bestowed upon Mr. Crawford include, among many others, being a 12-time recipient the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America’s (GCSAA) Environmental Leader in Golf Award, 2010 winner of the GCSAA’s Excellence in Government Relations Award, and 2010 recipient of the Georgia GCSA’s Presidential Commendation for Leadership in Advocacy and Government Relations.
Michael Crawford’s career stands as a driver of excellence in the golf course industry and a testament to where an education from Florida Gateway College can lead.
John Michael Lee - 2017 Alumnus of the Year, Associate of Arts
John Michael “Mike” Lee graduated from Columbia High School in 1972 and, in 1975, received his Associate of Arts degree from Lake City Community College, now Florida Gateway College. He transferred to the University of Florida and, while studying there, completed an internship at LCCC in the Student Activities department. This wouldn’t be the last time he gave back to the college that gave him his start.
In 1977, Mr. Lee earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation from the University of Florida and became the Superintendent of Recreation for the Lake City-Columbia County Recreation Department. Then, in 1979, he served as a teacher for students with disabilities at Lake City Junior High School, as well as an assistant basketball coach and head football coach.
Mike Lee became the Executive Director for the non-profit Columbia Association for Retarded Citizens (CARC) in 1980, where he oversaw the daily operations of a work center and residential facility. He also led the organization’s fundraising, grant writing, public relations, and long-range planning activities. Under his five-year directorship, CARC saw a 50-fold increase in cash reserves and quadrupled its annual budget, allowing it to better serve the community and its citizens.
It was in 1995 that Mr. Lee took his position as Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida Gateway College. For 22 years, until his retirement in January of 2017, he dedicated his time and talents to the foundation’s mission of providing financial support to FGC and the students that it serves. During his tenure and under his leadership, the foundation’s total worth increased from about $1 million to nearly $16 million.
In addition to all of this, Mr. Lee has been an active participant in community affairs, including serving as a Lake City Councilman, Rotarian, Lake City Chamber of Commerce member, Chair of the Downtown Neighborhood Development Committee, United Way Capital Campaign and Building Committee member, co-producer of the Lake City Airshow, and one of the founders of the Take Stock in Children program.
Mike Lee’s decades of service and dedication to giving back to his college and his community represent the best of what Florida Gateway College has to offer.