Recent News

Georgetown College Mourns Beloved Professor George McGee

Submitted on February 7, 2024

A beloved Professor of Theatre and Film at Georgetown College, George McGee, passed away on February 3, 2024.  McGee retired from GC in 2019 after three decades of inspiring hundreds of student actors and other undergraduates with the desire to gain confidence as public speakers.

“George and I started at Georgetown College in the same year, and I never met a kinder, more compassionate human being,” said President Rosemary Allen. “As a Vietnam veteran, his experience with the trauma of war seemed to make him all the more committed to creative ways of embracing the joy of community. He was a true Georgetown treasure.”

Through the years, McGee played some interesting roles himself. He portrayed Elijah Craig for the Kentucky Bicentennial and in the first group of characters developed in the Chautauqua Speaker Series for the Kentucky Humanities Council. Elijah Craig is credited as the founder of Rittenhouse Academy which would later become Georgetown College and the inventor of Bourbon in 1789. McGee also went on to perform as statesman Henry Clay for many years for the Chautauqua Speaker Series. This one-man show was in great demand throughout the Commonwealth. McGee also performed as Clay more than 800 times including many performances in Washington, D.C. at the request of Kentucky’s Congressional delegation.

He also wrote many plays over the years. One of his personal favorites was “A Fence for Martin Maher,” written with Irish playwright/actor John McArdle, which was performed on campus, toured Kentucky, and played in Ireland at several venues. Four of his plays were produced at the Kentucky State Fair as part of the Kentucky New Play Series. The Kentucky Playwrights Workshop also commissioned him to write a 30-minute play that was first presented in Louisville in 2015, and which has been produced on several occasions since then. McGee also directed a short film “Doc, Doc” that was an official entry in several film festivals in the United Kingdom. At the time of his retirement, the Commonwealth of Kentucky honored him for his contributions to higher education and arts in Kentucky with an official resolution.

“George McGee was always able to balance the needs of an audience, the student actors, and his own creative drive to produce a richly varied and resonant body of theatrical art,” recalls Professor of Theatre Ed Smith. “His warmth, empathy, kindness, and good cheer made him a great teacher, director, colleague, and friend. He was, and always will be ‘the best one’!”

If you would like to support the George McGee Winterpast Theatre Scholarship Fund in his honor, click here. Services will be held at the Saratoga National Cemetery with immediate family. A Celebration of Life will be held this summer at Georgetown College for his family, friends, former students, and colleagues. The date will be announced through social media and the Georgetown College website.


Request More Info chevron_right