Student Center and Leadership Fund Honor John Lewis

Endowment fund established to support student leadership.
The John Lewis Student Center

The John Lewis Student Center

In conjunction with the opening of the new John Lewis Student Center, Georgia Tech and several philanthropic supporters have created a new John Lewis Student Leadership Endowment Fund to support student leaders on campus.

The fund, established with $5 million, will support programs, initiatives, and activities at the Institute that encourage and develop students’ leadership skills. Gifts to the fund will be directed to a permanent endowment.  

“The John Lewis Student Center is the heart of student life on campus, a place where students grow as leaders who are ready to make a difference,” said President Ángel Cabrera. “I can’t think of a better name to inspire future generations of Georgia Tech student leaders than the man who, as a student leader himself, led our nation in its journey toward justice and civil rights.”

As a college student, Lewis chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee from1963 to 1966 and was heavily involved in the civil rights movement. He lived his personal motto of engaging in “good trouble” to ensure that current and future generations would have the freedom and opportunities that previous generations of Black Americans were denied.

“The John Lewis Student Leadership Endowment Fund will allow us to offer a comprehensive array of meaningful learning and development opportunities for all Georgia Tech students — whether it’s a first-time college student or a final-year doctoral student,” said Luoluo Hong, vice president for Student Engagement and Well-Being. “Students will be able to choose from many options, each designed to build and enhance the capacity of our Yellow Jackets to be values-driven, courageous agents for change in the spirit of John Lewis’ own legacy.”

Georgia Tech will honor the legacy of U.S. Representative John Lewis by dedicating the newly completed John Lewis Student Center during a ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 29. The campus sits in Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District and was represented by Lewis from 1986 until his death in 2020. The Board of Regents approved the renaming of the building in 2021.

The Center provides essential support services to students, in recognition of Lewis’ unwavering support of the Institute and its students. It brings together several student programs and resources into one physical space, including numerous dining venues, student organization community spaces, Graduate Student Lounge, Multicultural Lounge, Reflection Space, the Center for Student Engagement, Student Media, and the Student Center Programs Council. In addition, the offices of the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Government Associations are in the Center.

The dedication and celebration will be held in the third floor auditorium of the John Lewis Student Center (350 Ferst Drive NW), beginning at 10 a.m., Sept. 29. Following a formal ceremony, the campus community is invited to enjoy food and tours.