Lewis (MBA ’72) Receives Highest Alumni Honor on 50th Reunion
By Jay Hodgkins
University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumnus Lemuel E. Lewis (MBA ’72) was recognized with the Charles C. Abbott Award 30 April during Darden Reunion Weekend, the first in-person reunion at Darden in three years. The award is the highest honor the Darden School bestows upon alumni and is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions of time, energy and talent.
Lewis was recognized during Dean Scott Beardsley’s State of the School address. Beardsley, Darden School Foundation President Michael Woodfolk and Darden Alumni Association Board of Directors Chair Pat O’Shea (MBA ’86) presented Lewis with the award moments after he was inducted with his Class of 1972 classmates into the Abbott Society in recognition of their 50th reunion. Lewis was one of two Black students in the Class of 1972, the first class at Darden to include Black students.
O’Shea lauded Lewis for his “extraordinary leadership and counsel to Darden” during his 20 years of service as a member of the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees and for his philanthropy. O’Shea called Lewis “a leader in fostering global perspective and increasing the School’s diversity, equity and inclusion” and said he “personifies Darden’s mission, values and principals.”
“What a great honor,” said Lewis. “I have been associated with UVA since 1965 and Darden since 1970, and it’s interesting to think about since I came here in 1965, from that date to this date, there has never been a day that I wasn’t a student or on some committee or some board. True story.”
During his career, Lewis served as CFO of Landmark Communications and later founded IvMedia LLC. He has served on a number of corporate and nonprofit boards, including the UVA Board of Visitors.
Lewis has also served on the board of directors of three Fortune 500 companies and is the past chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
A 1969 UVA graduate, Lewis is one of the School’s Principal Donors, as well as a member of the Darden Society and Hickory Club. His generous support created the Lemuel E. Lewis Bicentennial Award for Global Leadership, awarded each year to a student who fosters a global perspective at the School. He and his sister, Brenda A. Lewis (MBA ’86), established the Charles J. Lewis Scholarship.
After receiving the award, Lewis was joined by his family, including his wife Sandra Lewis, a UVA trailblazer in her own right.
“Darden has been a labor of love and it has certainly changed my life and the lives of many other members of my family,” Lem Lewis said.
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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