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Transylvania receives $2.9 million bequest from Margaret J. Lewis ’37

Margaret J. LewisTransylvania received a $2.9 million bequest from the estate of Margaret J. Lewis ’37, which was the second largest estate gift in the University’s history.

“We are pleased that Mrs. Lewis’s Transylvania education meant so much to her,” said President Charles L. Shearer. “We are grateful that more than 70 years after she graduated, she will have such a positive impact on her alma mater.”

Lewis grew up outside Chicago and moved to South Carrollton, Ky., as she was entering high school. She majored in English at Transy and minored in French and biology. After earning an M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania, she studied in Paris for a year just prior to World War II. She then taught for three-and-a-half years before marrying Edward Lewis and retiring to become an occasional student.

Mr. Lewis spent most of his career teaching at the University of Illinois. After his retirement, the couple lived in Laguna Beach, Calif., for over 30 years. Their nearly $6 million estate was divided equally between Illinois and Transylvania.

“Mrs. Lewis cared deeply about Transylvania, and her wish was to establish a professorship or a named scholarship,” said Shearer. “Raising funds to support student scholarships and faculty endowed chairs are both goals of our 225th Anniversary Campaign, and we will consider several options before deciding how best to honor Margaret’s memory and wishes.”

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