Lewis University
Former names
  • Holy Name Technical School (1932-1934)
  • Lewis Holy Name Technical School (1934-1935)
  • Lewis Holy Name School of Aeronautics (1935-1952)
  • Lewis College of Science & Technology (1952-1962)
  • Lewis College (1962-1973)
MottoSignum Fidei (Latin)
Motto in English
Sign of Faith
TypePrivate university
Established1932; 92 years ago (1932)
FounderBishop Bernard J. Scheil (Archdiocese of Chicago)
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic (Christian Brothers)
Academic affiliations
PresidentDavid J. Livingston
Academic staff
235[2] (full-time)
Location, ,
CampusSuburban, 410 acres (170 ha)
NewspaperThe Lewis Flyer
Colors Red  and  White 
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division II

Lewis University is a private Lasallian university in Romeoville, Illinois. It enrolls around 6,500 students in more than 80 undergraduate programs, 35 graduate programs, and accelerated programs for working adults.


Lewis University was founded in 1932 by the Archdiocese of Chicago and Bishop Bernard J. Scheil as the Holy Name Technical School. The school gets its name from philanthropist Frank J. Lewis who funded the construction of many of the school's buildings. During these early days, aviation technology courses were chosen as the special emphasis of instruction, becoming the origin of today's highly regarded Department of Aviation and Transportation Studies. The school was incorporated in 1934 under the name Lewis Holy Name Technical School. In 1935, it became Lewis Holy Name School of Aeronautics, a name which is engraved in stone on the building now known as the Philip Lynch Theatre at the Oremus Fine Arts Center.

During World War II, normal classes were suspended as the campus was given to the United States Navy to train pilots. The campus is adjacent to the Lewis University Airport. Regular classes resumed in late 1944 and the college soon adopted a more traditional arts and science curriculum. Women were admitted for the first time in 1949. Three years later, the school's name was changed to the Lewis College of Science and Technology. The institution's name was shortened to simply Lewis College in 1962 and finally received its current name of Lewis University in 1973.

In 2004 and 2005, Lewis enrolled more than 5,000 total students. In 2019, Lewis University offered more than 80 undergraduate majors and programs of study, an accelerated degree completion option for working adults, various aviation programs, and 35 graduate programs. The university also offers degree programs in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In 2016, David J. Livingston, former president of Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio, succeeded James Gaffney as the 10th president of the university. Gaffney retired after 28 years of leadership and service to Lewis University and its students.



Main article: Lewis Flyers

The Lewis athletic teams are called the Flyers. The university is a member of the Division II level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), primarily competing in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) for most of its sports since the 1980–81 academic year; while its men's volleyball team compete in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA). Since it is not a sponsored sport at the Division II level, the men's volleyball team is the only program that plays in Division I.

Prior to joining the NCAA, Lewis was a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) from 1954–55 to 1979–80.

Lewis competes in 23 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track & field and volleyball; while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field and volleyball.

Men's volleyball

The men's volleyball team is the only program that plays in Division I. In 2003 the men's volleyball team won the NCAA Division I/II National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship by defeating Brigham Young University, but it later voluntarily gave back its title after an internal investigation found ineligibility issues that had been kept from the NCAA. The program has climbed their way back into the Top-10 rankings of DI-II schools. The Flyers qualified for the NCAA Championship and participated in the 1998 Final Four. In 1998 the Flyers also won their conference title. The Flyers were runners-up to Loyola University Chicago in the 2015 NCAA Final. The Flyers have qualified for 9 Final Four appearances: 1996, 1998, 2003*, 2004, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2019 & 2021.

Women's volleyball

The women's volleyball team has qualified for 18 straight NCAA Regional Championships (2006-2023), having made it to the final 4 in 2018

Track & field/cross country

The men's and women's track and field and cross country teams have had a long history of success, with 85 athletes being awarded All-American since 1988. Alum Isaac Jean-Paul, who won an NCAA Championship in the HJ, went on to win a World Championship in the Paralympics High jump in 2017 in London, jumping a world record 2.17m.


As a member of the NAIA, the Flyers won the NAIA Baseball World Series from 1974 to 76, and finished as runners-up in 1966 and 1980.

Club sports

Lewis has many club sports as well, such as hockey and rugby.

Notable alumni

This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability policy. Please improve this article by removing names that do not have independent reliable sources showing they merit inclusion in this article AND are alumni, or by incorporating the relevant publications into the body of the article through appropriate citations. (September 2023)

Arts, culture and entertainment

Government, law, politics and activism

Science, technology and medicine


Campus media

See also


  1. ^ Lewis University US News [dead link]
  2. ^ "Lewis University" (PDF). www.lewisu.edu.
  3. ^ "Lewis University". rankingsandreviews.com.
  4. ^ "Lewis University - Student Life - Best College - US News". rankingsandreviews.com.
  5. ^ a b "Lewis University's Philip Lynch Theatre celebrates 35 years". Lewis University. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  6. ^ "Lewis University's Philip Lynch Theatre celebrates 35 years". Lewis University. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  7. ^ "Chaka gets her groove back". the guardian. January 19, 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  8. ^ "Charles H. Ramsey". The District of Columbia. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  9. ^ "Jenny Bindon". New Zealand Football. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  10. ^ "J.J. Furmaniak hopes for a little more baseball heaven". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  11. ^ "USA Gymnastics | Kristle Lowell".
  12. ^ "NFL Players who attended Lewis University". databaseFootball.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  13. ^ "Paul Stevens". The University of Chicago Athletics. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  14. ^ "Ernie Young". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved January 1, 2014.

41°36′17″N 88°04′50″W / 41.604781°N 88.080524°W / 41.604781; -88.080524