Lincoln Vernon Lewis, 85, formerly a professor in the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and an adviser to the president’s office on equal opportunity and affirmative action matters, died July 26 after a battle with cancer.
He devoted most of his career to promoting diversity in higher education. At Cornell University, he developed a pilot recruiting plan to attract minority students to the Ivy League schools, an effort which has since been institutionalized on a large scale. In 1970, he developed and implemented Yale University’s first affirmative plan. He provided consulting services to several colleges and universities in establishing similar programs. Between 1971 and 1975, Lewis served as manager of special programs at Yale, where he focused on equal opportunity and affirmative action, and at the same time he served as administrator of Hill Health Center, a neighborhood health care center in New Haven, Connecticut. In 1976, Lewis joined Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis as its director of affirmative action. He came to U.Va. in 1988.
Following his retirement from U.Va. as professor emeritus and administrator in 1995, Lewis remained active in the University community. He served as president of the U.Va. Retired Faculty Association from 2010 to 2012, on a University strategic planning committee focused on faculty recruitment, retention and development, and on the U.Va. Health Sciences Board.
Funeral services will be held Friday at noon at Covenant Church, 1025 Rio Road East in Charlottesville. The wake will be held Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m., at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1042 Preston Avenue in Charlottesville.