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T Leonard Lewis

T. Leonard Lewis

President 1944–1959

Dr. Lewis and his family came to Boston from the Midwest. Born in Missouri and raised in Oklahoma, he was drawn to ministry as a young man. He graduated from Chicago’s Moody Bible Institute in 1927, and also received degrees from Wheaton College and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. Lewis pastored churches in Oak Park, Illinois and Hammond, Indiana, and taught theology at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary before he was unanimously offered the position of President of Gordon College of Theology and Missions in 1944.

Lewis’ presidency encompassed a time of great change and growth for the College. For a period of ten years after the close of World War II, aided by an influx of former GI students, Gordon expanded its physical campus to include additional sites in the Fenway and Brookline, as well as what would later become the College’s current campus: the Princemere Estate in Wenham, Massachusetts. In 1955, the College’s Divinity School made the permanent move to the Estate.

Dr. Lewis worked tirelessly to promote the College, to make friends in the community, to provide a quality Christian education for the students and to oversee the spiritual care for the students. Mrs. Lewis later remarked on how much they enjoyed the students, and felt they were even somehow part of the family. It was a great shock to the entire Gordon community when Dr. Lewis died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack on March 12, 1959.

Significant Accomplishments:

+ After the Divinity School relocated to the Wenham campus in 1955, Lewis oversaw the construction of several new buildings, including the Winn Library, Wood Hall, Byington and Drew.

+ Committed to offering a quality liberal arts education, the College’s very first core curriculum developed under Lewis’s leadership.

+ Gordon’s program offerings expanded to included elementary and secondary education, international seminars, as well as several new sports teams which made use of the former Princemere polo grounds (now the Quad).

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