Dr. Jerry McGee, a native of Rockingham, North Carolina, has two sons -- Ryan, a graduate of the University of Tennessee, who is a senior writer for ESPN the Magazine; and Sam, a graduate of Wake Forest University and Yale Law School, who is a practicing Attorney. He has three grandchildren – Tara, Hannah and Brooks McGee. He was married to Hannah Covington McGee for 33 years before her death in 1999 and married Marcella McInnis in 2009.
Dr. McGee received his undergraduate degree from East Carolina University. He also holds a Masters degree from Appalachian State University and a Doctorate from Nova University. He has enjoyed much success during his more than 40 years in higher education, securing hundreds of millions in gifts and grants for scholarships, endowment and campus development. His service as vice president of Gardner-Webb University, Meredith College and Furman University prepared him well for his current position as President of Wingate University which he assumed in 1992. Under his visionary leadership Wingate University has been recognized as one of the best small liberal arts colleges in the South and the premier small private university in North Carolina. During his Presidency, Wingate has developed graduate programs, achieved University status, began a School of Pharmacy, nearly tripled its enrollment, became a Doctoral granting institution and added over 25 new campus facilities.
One of his more interesting hobbies was refereeing Division I college football games. He officiated 404 college games over 36 years and was routinely selected for post-season assignments including the Inaugural ACC Championship game, the Florida Citrus Bowl twice, the Rose Bowl twice, the Gator Bowl twice, the Army/Navy game twice, the Orange Bowl, the Liberty Bowl, the Peach Bowl, the Snow Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the Motor City Bowl, the Houston Bowl, the Las Vegas Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Golden Isle Bowl three times and the Holiday Bowl. He was selected three times to officiate games which determined the national championship including the 2009 BCS Championship game. Dr. McGee is a member of the South Atlantic Conference Athletic Hall of Fame, Wingate University Athletic Hall of Fame, the Union County Business Leaders Hall of Fame and North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
Dr. McGee has also found time to be actively involved in the community. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Affiliate of Fifth Third Bank, the Wilma McCurdy Trust and the McSwain Foundation. He also is a past district governor of Civitan International. He served as a member of the NCAA Presidents’ Council and twice served as the National Chairman of the Football Issues Committee for NCAA Division II. He served as Chairman of Union County’s Economic Development program and as Chairman of the Presidents’ Council of the South Atlantic Conference. Currently, he is currently in his fifth year as chair of the Presidents' Council of the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. In 2008, he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of East Carolina.
He has completed two books, The Sitting and Talking Place, which tells of his special relationship with his maternal grandfather and Roberdell – A Village of Grace, which describes life in the small textile community he grew up in. In 2006, Dr. McGee received North Carolina’s highest civilian honor – The Order of the Long Leaf Pine – in recognition of his extraordinary service to the state.