The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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Jo McCulty

Meet alumni board member Michael Lee ’06

He answered questions through a very Buckeye version of the classic Proust Questionnaire.

Since joining The Ohio State University Alumni Association Board of Directors two years ago, Michael Lee ’06 has traveled the nation and the world with boundless energy focused on … energy. Lee earned a finance degree from Ohio State and an MBA from Harvard Business School before launching a career in the advancement of renewable energy solutions. Turns out, it’s a family business. “My grandfather grew up on a homestead in North Dakota and spent his early adult life electrifying the state with the Rural Electrification Administration. He worked his way up to management at Montana Power. If that’s not living the American Dream, what is?”

In a word, describe your state of mind.


What day as an Ohio State student would you like to relive?

Every single day

What quality do you value most in a person?

I like nerdiness — when someone is deeply knowledgeable about a topic that interests them.

What inspires you to get up in the morning?


Which talent would you most like to have?

I would be a polyglot. It would be wonderful to know many languages and not have a communication barrier with so many fascinating cultures.

Where would you most like to live?

My current home, San Francisco

What do you want most for Ohio State?

To be known as the world’s most rigorous and innovative public academic institution

What is your most treasured Buckeye possession?

My Jim Tressel sweater vest T-shirt

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

My grandfather, who electrified Montana and North Dakota

What is your personal motto?

Life’s too short for shallow conversations.

Which phrase do you most overuse?

“I love you” to my wife. (Is it possible to overuse this?)

What was your greatest achievement at Ohio State?

Graduating cum laude while also having a cum laude social experience

Who is your Ohio State hero and why?

While I like big accomplishments, I don’t really care much about famous people. The common Buckeye who is a great citizen and family member is underappreciated. These are the people who are core to our brand.

What personal trait would you most like to change?

I’m trying to become a minimalist and not let material things be the source of my happiness. This is often uncomfortable, and it’s hard to change.

What do you most value in your friends?


What are your most-used hashtags?

#Keto, #Cycling, #SustainableCities, #Urbanist, #RenewableEnergy, #Entrepreneur. (Keep up with Michael Lee @the_michael_lee.)

About the author

Dan Caterinicchia

Dan Caterinicchia is chief communications officer for The Ohio State University Alumni Association and Office of Advancement.