Dr. Maurice A. Lee is one driven individual. After graduating from the Medical University of South Carolina, he became the first black male pharmacist from Eutawville, S.C. and has used his influence and success to continuously advocate for those facing hardships in pursuit of higher education. We chatted with Lee about the best advice he ever received, the importance of family, and what it means to be one of our BEMM 100 Men of Distinction.
Name: Dr. Maurice A. Lee
Profession: Pharmacist/Voice-over Talent
One Word That Describes You: Driven
BEMM: What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
Being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction is very humbling. The recognition means there is something unique that I am doing and not of the norm. I have tried to live my life not marching to the beat of the majority, but helping to create a sound for others who embody singularity to send a message that it is perfectly fine to be different or peculiar. We all were not created to fit in the same mold.
BEMM: What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
During my tenure at South Carolina State University, my family was hit with a major financial crisis which resulted in me not having enough money for room and board. I slept on the floors and couches of some of my college friends, and I also utilized their meal cards just to survive while in college. I always focused on how hard working my mom was, and I used her desire for better as motivation. Upon graduating from SCSU and the Medical University of South Carolina, I decided to create the M.A. Lee Scholarship Fund to create scholarships for students wanting to attend college, but who were also faced with financial difficulties to decrease the stress and burden of college tuition.
BEMM: What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
BEMM: What are some immediate projects you are working on?
I am currently in the neurotic phases of producing my first short film and a compilation CD with some of the industry’s most notable talents.
BEMM: What is the best advice you ever received?
The best advice I’ve received came from my mother. She taught me that when you are in a conversation with someone or [a group of] people, don’t always be the one to monopolize the conversation. She taught me to listen and hear the words and feel the spirit from a person. In those moments, you can discover a lot about a person.
BEMM: What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
The advice I have for other men who want to make a difference would be to maintain integrity and make a difference for change, not for the applause.
BEMM: How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
To prep for an important business meeting or event, I meditate fast and pray for clarity.
BEMM: As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
Vacation? What is that? No seriously, the best vacations are those I get to share with my family. There are times we either take a road trip to New York or Florida. I love vacations with my family, because they keep me so centered and structured. A lot of my strength I gain from them, so when I want to recharge, I place myself around them to refocus.
BEMM: If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
If I could travel and stay anywhere in the world, it would be a place that is non-English speaking. I embrace the challenge of being an immigrant and learning a new language and culture.
BEMM: Anything else you’d like to say?
I would say to the youth of today, do not be easily dissuaded by the media. Study and research information on your own before you allow the thoughts of others to be projected unto you. Finally, I would like to say to anyone reading this—NEVER allow anyone to tell you what you cannot do, as it relates to your education or career.
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