HLS Benefactor's Portrait Unveiled

Law School administrators last week helped unveil a new portrait honoring the late Reginald F. Lewis, CEO of TLC Beatrice International and one the Law School's largest benefactors.

Dean of the Law School Robert C. Clark joined members of Lewis' family at Friday's ceremony in the main lobby of the new Lewis International Law Center, the first building in the Ivy League to be named after an African-American.

The center was founded after the Lewis family donated $3 million--money that at the time, in 1992, constituted the largest ever single gift to the Law School.

Lewis graduated from the Law School in 1968. He was one of two students admitted to the Law School through a special summer program designed to interest minority college students in the legal profession, said Bussey Professor of Law Frank E.A. Sander, an associate dean.

More than 200 foreign graduate students have studied at the Lewis Center each year since it opened in 1993. The center also houses the Law School library's international collection.

"My father represents the 'new man' of the Law School, and if his portrait can inspire others like him to take these tools and craft great works in any and every realm, whether academic or economic, he deserves a place in these hallowed halls," said his daughter, Leslie N. Lewis '95.

"We are so happy that he is the first person of color on the walls, and we know that he will not be the last," Leslie Lewis added.

Shortly after graduating from the Law School, Reginald Lewis founded law and investment firms.

In 1987 Lewis acquired food giant TLC Beatrice International in a $985 million leveraged buyout. The coup made Beatrice the largest black-owned business in the country, with Lewis at the helm.

Lewis died in 1993 after a short illness. The cover of the 1995 Law School Catalog bears the new portrait.