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NCCU School of Education Receives $100,000 Endowment


 A $100,000 gift from the Rehab Therapy Foundation Inc. will further assist North Carolina Central University School of Education graduate students enrolled in its Communication Disorders program. 

The H. Donell Lewis Graduate Fellowship is named in honor of H. Donell Lewis, Ph.D., a renowned audiologist and retired director of NCCU’s Communication Disorders Program. Lewis has been a longtime advocate for the university and played a significant role in several large gifts to fund academic initiatives and student scholarship needs at the university.

“Dr. H. Donell Lewis is a champion for North Carolina Central University,” said Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye. “Dr. Lewis’ most recent act of support through the Rehab Therapy Foundation Inc. in the form of an endowment will continue to advance our quest to fulfill The Eagle Promise by preparing the best students in the field of speech and language pathology and audiology.”

Lewis, a native of Loris, S.C., joined the NCCU faculty in 1984. Under his leadership, the Communication Disorders program achieved its first national accreditation by the Council of Academic Accreditation. Lewis also played a significant role in establishing NCCU’s radio station, WNCU, by securing more than $2 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“We are tremendously grateful for Dr. Lewis’ continuous support of NCCU’s School of Education,” said Harriet Frink Davis, Ph.D., vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement for the university. “With the generosity of The Rehab Therapy Foundation Inc., we will continue to prepare the next generation of leaders in education.”

Lewis earned a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology at Shaw University and a master’s in audiology from Central Michigan University. He also holds a doctoral degree in audiology from the University of Illinois, Urbana.

Lewis began his career at Shaw University’s Communication Sciences and Disorders Program and later served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He has been a senior researcher for Duke University’s Child Development and Behavioral Health Clinic and a visiting professor at N.C. A&T State University and N.C. State University.

Currently, he serves as president and chief executive officer of CCA Rehabilitation Inc., an audiology and hearing clinic that provides pathology, audiology, physical and occupational therapy services to hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, schools, daycare centers and home-health services in the Triangle Region.

“We are appreciative not only for Dr. Lewis’ influences on the School of Education but also his unwavering support for the Communication Disorders Program. The newly-established H. Donell Lewis Graduate Fellowship will greatly enhance the graduate student experience,” said Audrey W. Beard, Ed.D., School of Education dean.

The NCCU School of Education offers degree programs in elementary and middle-grades education, as well as educational technology; school administration; community; career and school counseling; communication disorders; and five concentrations in special education. All programs are fully accredited by their respective bodies and are consistently top ranked.

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