Established on 09.30.2016 by Fay Ferguson '73 and Dr. Earl Lewis '78

Entrepreneur, Business owner and Co-CEO of one of the nation’s leading transcultural communications agencies, Fay Ferguson is not only a seasoned marketing professional; she is also a passionate, ambitious and empathetic leader. Fay believes that good is not good enough and that one should always strive for greatness.

Well-regarded in the industry, she has won numerous awards, including Chicago Advertising Woman of the Year, “Advertising Working Mother of the Year, Trailblazer Mom”, The Women’s Leadership Exchange – Most Influential Women and Black Enterprise, Top Women Executives In Advertising and Marketing, to name a few.

Fay is especially skilled at navigating complex corporate relationships and processes, resulting in unprecedented growth for Burrell clients that are under her leadership, including Toyota Motor Sales, Comcast/Xfinity, McDonald’s USA, McDonald’s Baltimore/Washington Regional business and Hilton Worldwide. Her past experience includes a wide range of industry leaders such as General Mills, Allstate, Sears and Procter & Gamble. Fay started her advertising career at Leo Burnett on Kellogg’s and Pillsbury.

Her contributions to the City of Chicago Anti-Violence Campaign, “Black is Human,” a Burrell Initiative, the Primo Center for abused women and children, Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, By the Hand Club for Kids where she personally funds the education of a student from Kindergarten thru High School, and others clearly demonstrate Fay’s commitment to giving back and to serving the Black community.

Fay is active on several boards, including Perspectives Charter School, the Chicago Advertising Federation, the North Shore (IL) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, and the Concordia College Board of Regents where she is committed to helping fund scholarships for diversity students.

Fay earned a BA degree from Concordia College in 1973 where she graduated magna cum laude and an MBA from Indiana University. She is especially proud of her son Eric, who serves our country as a Lieutenant in the US Navy. Fay loves being involved in and supporting the arts, as well as children and families in need.

Dr. Earl Lewis became the sixth President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in March 2013.  Under his guidance, the Foundation has reaffirmed its commitment to the humanities, the arts, and higher education by emphasizing the importance of continuity and change.

A noted social historian, Mr. Lewis has held faculty appointments at the University of California at Berkeley (1984–89), and the University of Michigan (1989–2004).  He has championed the importance of diversifying the academy, enhancing graduate education, re-visioning the liberal arts, exploring the role of digital tools for learning, and connecting universities to their communities.

Prior to joining The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Mr. Lewis served as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies at Emory University. As Provost, Lewis led academic affairs and academic priority setting for the university.

He is the author and co-editor of seven books, including The African American Urban Experience:  Perspectives from the Colonial Period to the Present (with Joe William Trotter and Tera W. Hunter, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004); Defending Diversity: Affirmative Action at the University of Michigan (with Jeffrey S. Lehman and Patricia Gurin, University of Michigan Press, 2004); Love on Trial:  An American Scandal in Black and White (with Heidi Ardizzone, WW Norton, 2001); the award-winning To Make Our World Anew:  A History of African Americans (with Robin D.G. Kelley, Oxford University Press, 2000); In Their Own Interests:  Race, Class and Power in 20th Century Norfolk (University of California Press, 1991); as well as the 11-volume The Young Oxford History of African Americans (with Robin D.G. Kelley, Oxford University Press, 1995–1997); and the award-winning book series American Crossroads (University of California Press).

A native of Tidewater, Virginia, Mr. Lewis earned an undergraduate degree in history and psychology from Concordia College in 1978, in Moorhead, Minnesota, and a PhD in history from the University of Minnesota.  He has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2008.

In 2015, Mr. Lewis was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Rutgers University-Newark and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Dartmouth College; he also received an honorary Doctor of Humanities from Concordia College in 2002; Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota in 2001; and the Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award from the University of Michigan in 1999.

The Diversity Student Endowed Scholarship is awarded by the Financial Aid Committee. Selection is based on scholastic achievement and financial need.