College of Communication and Information Sciences (C&IS) alumnus Bill Lewis and his wife, Judy, have funded three initiatives through their gift to the Capital Campaign. The couple’s generous donation will support the C&IS Industry Immersion program and will also be used to establish the Bill and Judy Lewis International Experience Fund and the Bill and Judy Lewis First Generation Endowed Scholarship.
Lewis hopes that their gift will provide a wealth of opportunities for both current and future students at The University of Alabama.
“I wanted to provide payback to what I learned and experienced at UA that shaped my life,” Lewis said. “We chose to support three efforts at UA that we discerned important. Both the Industry Immersion program and the International Experience funds provide valuable real-life experience and connectivity.”
The funds allocated for the College’s Industry Immersion program and the creation of the International Experience Fund will ensure that C&IS students are able to seek enriching experiences abroad, such as classes and internships, that will broaden their knowledge and skill set.
“We initiated the International Experience Fund because traveling internationally is a passion for my wife and I, and we know personally how it can influence lives in many unexpected, positive ways,” he said. “When you get outside your normal boundaries, expand your life experiences and reach out for the unfamiliar, you often can learn things about yourself that you perhaps didn’t know.”
In addition to supporting students through their international-focused gifts, the Lewis’s First Generation Endowed Scholarship will help UA students who are the first in their family to attend college.
“We feel the First Generation Scholarship encourages students to dream of ‘what can be’ and offers them a way to achieve it,” Lewis said.
Lewis graduated from UA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969 and a Master of Arts degree in 1971. In 1987, Lewis joined with Norma Hanson and Terry Slaughter to build the nationally acclaimed advertising and branding firm, SlaughterHanson.
He has also served on the C&IS Board of Visitors since 2011, serving as Chairman from 2015-2016. Lewis credits C&IS Dean Dr. Mark Nelson for the impactful relationship he has had with him and many other alumni over the years.
“He has been an incredible magnet drawing me closer to our College and continuously encouraging creative opportunities for alumni to participate,” Lewis said.
Experiential learning opportunities and student scholarships are funding priorities for C&IS as part of the Rising Tide Capital Campaign. The Rising Tide Capital Campaign is a University-wide effort to raise a minimum of $1.5 billion in philanthropic support for strategic priorities over a 10-year period. For more information, visit risingtide.ua.edu.