Charles Ashby Lewis ’64

Doctor of Humane Letters

While leading the Investment Banking Group at Merrill Lynch in Chicago, Charles Ashby (Chuck) Lewis also has dedicated countless hours to serving the civic, arts, and educational organizations that enhance our society. Much of his work has supported his alma mater; he is a life trustee, and, with Axel Shupf ’57, he recently co-chaired The Amherst College Campaign, which raised nearly $270 million for the College’s most important priorities.

A strong presence at Amherst even as an undergraduate, Lewis competed on the varsity football and lacrosse teams and served as president of Theta Delta Chi. After Amherst, he earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School, served in the Army, and in 1970 began his long career at Merrill Lynch. He brings to his work an ability to understand and interpret the twists and turns that shape the global economy. And he has said that this ability supports his service as a trustee, at Amherst and elsewhere, offering an understanding of what it takes to keep an organization “at the top of its field in a competitive world.”

Lewis and his wife, Penny Sebring, an expert in educational policy, are active in a number of civic and service organizations, especially in their hometown of Chicago. And they have made a tangible impact on the life of Amherst College. Together, they established the Lewis-Sebring Professorship in Latin American and Latino Culture, and provided leadership for the renovation of Valentine Hall. The elegant Lewis-Sebring Commons, named in recognition of their support for Amherst, was completed in 1995, and provides faculty, staff, students, and visitors with comfortable dining and meeting space. Lewis also honored his parents with the Bender-Lewis Scholarship Fund, which provides support for deserving students.

Strong believers in the importance of family, Lewis and Sebring are the parents of three grown children—Lisa, Peter ’93, and Kathryn (Casey).

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