A Lifelong Devotion to the University
Though much has changed at U.Va. since seventeen-year-old Jack Lewis (College ’59, Law ’62) enrolled in 1955 as a first-year, students today still do the things he did: walk the Lawn on the way to class, serve on the Student Council, cheer the Cavalier football team, pledge fraternities, and join secret societies.
Clearly, though, Mr. Lewis’ experience recalls a different era in the University’s history. Then, students dashing to class might have passed writer-in-residence William Faulkner strolling the Grounds. Or they could have competed, as Mr. Lewis did, in boxing tournaments held before boisterous crowds at Memorial Gymnasium. According to his son John IV (Engineering ’86), his father was a tough contender who made it to the finals.
Mr. Lewis credits the University with helping to shape him professionally and personally. He served for twenty-three years as commonwealth’s attorney in his native Powhatan County and also devoted his time, energy, and financial support to various community organizations. He and his wife of forty years, Elizabeth Randolph Lewis, raised four children, all of whom, he proudly notes, continued in the family tradition by graduating from U.Va.
His affection for his alma mater remains central to his life now. Each year he contributes to the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Law, Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, the IMP Society, Eli Banana, and the Virginia Athletics Foundation.
“There are many things about the University that I love,” he said. “I give back to it because doing so gives me great happiness.”