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Journalist Lewis gives $100,000 for minority scholarships at COM

“I want more from my community to go and share that experience.”

Ida Lewis (CGS'54, COM'56), who received a Distinguished Alumni award in 1999, has signed a $100,000 bequest for minority scholarships at COM. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Before Ida Lewis became the first black woman to publish a national magazine, the first editor-in-chief of Essence, or the first financial editor at New York’s Amsterdam News, she was a student in Boston University’s College of Communication, eager to pursue a career in journalism and explore new opportunities for young African-Americans. Since then, she has interviewed African dignitaries in Paris, led a delegation to the Third International Women’s Conference in Beijing, and worked as a press officer for a presidential candidate —all the while maintaining a connection to COM and the opportunities it offers for young journalists of color.

“I loved the four years at Boston University — they were the best in my life,” says Lewis (CGS’54, COM’56). “I want more from my community to go and share that experience.”

To achieve that goal, and address what she perceives as a critical lack of racial diversity at the University and in journalism, Lewis recently made a provision for a $100,000 bequest to endow a scholarship for minority students at COM. “We need good, intelligent African-American journalists like we need those from any other group,” she says. “So I hope, in the future, my bequest will help a student or some students.”

“This gift is absolutely congruent with our priorities,” says COM Dean John Schulz. “We are dedicated to increasing the minority population at COM, just as all of BU is focused on increasing the minority presence on campus.”

To read more about Ida Lewis and her career, click here.