Sept. 13, 2018

Former Lewis University Chair of the Board of Trustees Russ Smyth and his wife Dawn have made an historic investment in Lewis University, pledging more than $5 million to the new College of Aviation, Science and Technology. The gift will serve the growing number of students in STEM programs and enhance Lewis University’s national impact in these fields.

College of Aviation, Science and TechnologyGAMA and NBAA continually highlight the importance of business aviation in helping create and support more than 1 million high-paying, high-skill jobs, including those in the STEM fields, through the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign.

“Lewis already has excellent and rapidly growing aviation, science and technology programs. 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 in a statement.

The gift will further enhance student experiences and opportunities as Lewis University expands its program in the areas of cyber security, unmanned systems, data science, nano-technology, aviation and STEM.

“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,” said university President Dr. David Livingston.

In addition to having an airport on campus, Lewis University has partnerships at O’Hare and Midway International airports to facilitate students’ learning, and immerse them in aviation early on in their studies. 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.