The former Chair of the Lewis Board of Trustees, Russ Smyth, and his wife Dawn, have pledged $5 million to the new College of Aviation, Science, and Technology at Lewis University according to a letter sent out by Dr. David Livingston, the president of Lewis. This is the largest gift from a living individual in the school’s history and will serve the growing number of students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs and enhance Lewis University’s national impact in these fields.
“The goal of our gift is to provide additional resources for faculty, students, and facilities to further enhance these programs and differentiate the College of Aviation, Science, and Technology as one of the nation’s best,” Russ and Dawn Smyth said.
The gift will further enhance student experiences and opportunities as Lewis University expands its leadership role in the areas of cyber security, unmanned systems, data science, nano-technology, aviation and STEM. More than $20 million already has been invested in recent years in building of the state-of-the-art Science Center and the renovation of teaching and lab spaces for the sciences in the academic building.
Launching in the Fall 2019, the newly formed Lewis University College of Aviation, Science and Technology will better connect students, faculty and alumni to research, career and graduate school opportunities.
“Any investment made in our community is worthy of praise, but the sheer size of the Smyth gift is thrilling,” said Mayor John Noak. “Lewis continues to excel as a University and investments like this will not only fuel their continued growth, but showcase the confidence that Lewis is on the right path.”
“Russ and Dawn have seen the influence of the Lewis University sciences on their family, as two of their four children are now alumni of Lewis University. We’re grateful for this gift that will amplify the impact of a Lewis University degree for our current and future students as they become leaders in aviation, science and technology,” Dr. David Livingston, president of Lewis University, commented.
Lewis University was recently named one of the Best Colleges in the Midwest by the Princeton Review.