First Lady Profile
Dr. Sharon Kazee
Presidential Spouse, University of Evansville
Dr. Sharon Kazee joined the University of Evansville community when her husband, Tom, became its 23rd president in 2010. Kazee earned a PhD in educational administration from the University of South Carolina. Prior to her role as first lady, she was the dean and vice president for arts and academics at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities.
Kazee's passions lie in the arts and education. As a musician, educator, and administrator, Kazee was recognized with the Ben Craig First Union Teacher of the Year Award for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, the South Carolina Art Education Association's Distinguished Art Advocate, and the South Carolina Alliance for Arts Education's Leadership Award. Kazee was named the Administrator of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Librarians, and she was named one of TALK Greenville magazine's 25 Most Beautiful Women, an honor that recognizes women who have had an impact in the community. She also received the Individual Research Initiative Award presented by the International Network of Schools for the Advancement of Arts Education.
Kazee's impact on the arts and education in Evansville is notable. She received the Mayor's Arts Award for Education and the Barbara St. Clair McKenna Award, the highest honor bestowed by the UE Theatre Society Board which is given to the person who exemplifies the spirit of service to the Department of Theatre. Also, the Kazees were recently recognized by the UE Alumni Association with the Samuel Orr Honorary Alumni Award.
Kazee's community involvements reflect her advocacy for the arts and education, as well as her interest in healthcare and the needs of women and children. Since moving to Evansville, she has served as a member of the Board of Directors of numerous community organization including the Signature School, the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Evansville Museum, and St. Vincent's Evansville. She was also involved with the Evansville Public Art Commission, Evansville Women Stepping Up, the Women's Equality Day Planning Committee, and the Da Vinci Institute Steering Committee. Nationally, Kazee served as a member and chair of the Council of Independent Colleges' Presidential Spouses and Partners Task Force. On campus, she is a member of the Theatre Society Board of Directors, President's Club Executive Committee, and the Art Acquisition Committee.
An energetic member of the campus community, Sharon is visible at a variety of campus events - from lectures to athletics, and she has served as a lecturer or keynote speaker for a number of events including the Andiron Lectures in Liberal Arts and Sciences, Wednesday Mornings at UE, Humanities Night, the Outstanding Educators of the Year Banquet, the Office Staff Association luncheon, and a student leadership conference.
The Kazees have two children: Nicole is the VP of Strategy and Business Development for the Erie Family Heath Care Center in Chicago, Illinois. She and her husband, Andrew, have two children, twins Cora and Milo. Geoffrey is the Agronomic Sales Manager for Site One Landscape Supply for the state of Arizona. He and his wife, Heather, are expecting their first child this summer.