Dr. Ada H. Lewis Book Fund

Main content

Established in 1987 by Howard H. Lewis, Esq., this fund honors his mother Dr. Ada H. Lewis, and supports acquisitions in medieval and renaissance studies, especially history.

Dr. Ada H. Lewis, received a Ph.D. from Penn in 1928 in medieval studies; her dissertation A Study of Elizabethan Ship Money, 1588-1603 is still available at the Library.

She taught at Girls' High in Philadelphia, but made her greatest contribution to education as Vice President of the Philadelphia School Board. She was the author of the Lewis Report, which implemented integration in Philadelphia's public schools. The Ada H. Lewis Middle School bears her name.

Her service to the University of Pennsylvania began in 1935 when she was elected as the President of the newly formed Penn women's Phi Beta Kappa organization. In June 1945, the University of Pennsylvania Trustees elected her an Associate Trustee of the University with membership on the Board of Liberal Arts, which had oversight of the College (for men), the College for Women, and the College of General Studies. She was the first woman to serve the University as a member of the Constituent Board of Liberal Arts.

In 1953, she received the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Society's highest honor, the Alumni Award of Merit.

For more information on gifts supporting information resources and other areas and the Penn Libraries, please contact us at