Claremont McKenna College’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship now bears Randall Lewis’s name in honor and recognition of the real estate industry leader. Lewis ’73 P’10 P’11 P’13 was celebrated for his loyal commitment to the College in October 2020.
“The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is the perfect home for Randall’s name,” said CMC trustee Jim McElwee ’74 P’12, Lewis’ classmate and longtime friend.
To unveil and celebrate the renaming of the Center, CMC luminaries gathered virtually in 2020 to pay tribute to Lewis, his loyal commitment to the College, his generous contributions to the community, and his visionary leadership in the Southern California region.
“The CIE started as a scrappy startup, founded by a group of entrepreneurial students in 2012,” said CIE Advisory Board Chair Kip Hallman ’81 P’14. “Eight years later, the Center is a CMC fixture, providing students the skills they need to innovate and thrive through hands-on learning and collaboration with local, national, and global partners.”
“I had a fantastic experience at Claremont. I saw the value of a liberal arts education, and I got to experience all of the Claremont Colleges. I took a course from Peter Drucker at the graduate school on innovation and entrepreneurship that truly was life-changing. Every week I think of ideas that I learned from him. He created a passion in me to study innovation.”
According to Hallman, the $3.75 million gift from Lewis and his family–matched with a gift from George Roberts ’66 P’93 to total $5 million—will “boost our ability to help prepare students to be thoughtful, productive, and responsible leaders and innovators.”
McElwee ’74 P’12 spoke on behalf of the Board of Trustees. “I first met Randall more than 50 years ago,” he said, fondly recalling their days together as economics majors at CMC.
McElwee noted that Lewis is a 47-year veteran of the real estate business, who in his role as executive vice president, marketing at The Lewis Group, has implemented innovative thinking to adapt to his industry’s upswings and downturns. Lewis’ parents founded the company in 1955 and it continues today with Randall, and brothers Richard ’65, Robert ’67, and Roger.
The overall impact of the gift from Lewis to CIE, McElwee said, “will be felt across campus, as part of a dynamic cohort of research institutes and centers intended to enrich the student experience.”
Lewis also spoke, sharing that, “CMC has been really important to our family and our business.” Two of his brothers, Richard and Robert, as well as all three of his children—Sarah ’10, Riley ’11, and Rosie ’13—are also graduates of CMC. In addition, Sarah recently joined the CIE advisory board.
“I had a fantastic experience at Claremont,” he continued. “I saw the value of a liberal arts education, and I got to experience all of the Claremont Colleges. I took a course from Peter Drucker at the graduate school on innovation and entrepreneurship that truly was life-changing. Every week I think of ideas that I learned from him. He created a passion in me to study innovation.”