UT’s Law College Career Center Named for Bettye Lewis

KNOXVILLE –- The University of Tennessee College of Law has named its campus career center after the late Bettye B. Lewis of Memphis. Lewis was the first president of the Tennessee Bar Auxiliary and the wife and mother of two distinguished UT Law graduates.

Bettye B. Lewis
Bettye B. Lewis
The Bettye B. Lewis Career Center, located on the Knoxville campus, was dedicated at a ceremony in April at the Shelby County Courthouse in Memphis. The ceremony was held in Chancery Court Part III Courtroom.

Lewis, who died in 2004, was the wife of the late George T. Lewis Jr., a 1936 graduate of the UT College of Law and Chancellor of the 10th Chancery Divison, Part II, Shelby County. Bettye Lewis was the mother of George “Buck” Lewis III, a 1980 UT law alumnus who also received a bachelor’s degree and MBA from UT.

Previously, the Judge’s Chambers at the College of Law was named in honor of George T. Lewis and the Dean’s Suite honors Buck Lewis.

“Today and forever, Bettye Lewis will be honored next to her husband and across the hallway from her son,” UT Law Dean Tom Galligan said in his dedicatory remarks. “The Lewis family surrounds us at the College of Law and we are honored that they do.”

“Mom loved the University of Tennessee and felt that supporting our law school is one way that we can keep the promise of the American Dream alive for our young people,” Buck Lewis said. “She loved lawyers and judges and liked to remind folks that it is the lawyers and judges, more than any other profession, that bring strength to our democratic values and institutions.”

Buck Lewis is a shareholder in the Memphis office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz and chair of the Business Litigation and Appellate Litigation groups. He was elected vice president of the Tennessee Bar Association in 2006 and will become president in 2008. Lewis and his wife Malinda are longtime supporters of the UT College of Law, and Buck has served as chair of the law school’s Alumni Advisory Council.

Bill Haltom of Memphis, a partner with Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson & Mitchell, PLLC, a 1978 UT law graduate, and the current president of the Tennessee Bar Association, also spoke at the dedication.

“Bettye Lewis was an extraordinary woman whose life was dedicated to her faith, her family and her friends,” Haltom said. “While she was not a lawyer, she loved the law because she loved two lawyers — her wonderful husband, Chancellor George Lewis, and her son, Buck Lewis. The Bettye Lewis Career Center will be a perfect legacy for her since, in the coming years, the center will help countless students as they begin their careers in a noble profession devoted to what makes America great, the Rule of Law.”

The mission of the Bettye B. Lewis Career Center is to assist students and alumni in exploring career options, help them hone the skills they need to conduct successful job searches and develop employment opportunities for students and alumni by building relationships with legal employers.

Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034, amy.blakely@tennessee.edu
R.G. Smithson, (865) 974-0687, rsmithso@utk.edu

###