Front Range Homebuilder Creates Endowed Chair Through Gift To CU-Boulder

Published: Sept. 26, 2000

Stan Lewis, a University of Colorado at Boulder alumnus and successful Front Range homebuilder and land developer, has endowed a faculty position in the Construction Engineering and Management Program through a gift to CU-Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science.

The K. Stanton Lewis Endowed Chair will generate perpetual support for the program, which offers state-of-the-art instruction for undergraduate and graduate students in construction engineering and construction project management. The program allows students to apply lessons of the classroom to actual construction projects, and also has been a leader in introducing women to the construction business.

"What the program is teaching is what the industry needs today," said Lewis, who is a resident of Boulder County. "I want to help students who are seriously interested in architecture and construction management and who show a willingness to give the extra effort to further their interests and get a good education in this field."

Lewis graduated from CU with a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering in 1951. Following his service with the U.S. Marine Corps in Korea, he worked for two different Colorado architects, then took a job as a project manager with a local homebuilding contractor. In 1957, he started his own company, Maplewood Homes, combining his knowledge of architectural design and construction knowledge to build custom homes and apartments. He also invested in real estate, developing Maplewood, Maplewood Acres and Maplewood Estates 1, 2, 3 and 4, among others in Jefferson County and other areas.

He has been a longtime supporter of the University of Colorado, employing CU students in his construction business, serving as a member of the Alumni Association Director’s Club and Honorary Alumni C Club, and making various gifts to support the College of Engineering and Applied Science; the Speech, Language and Hearing Center; the department of athletics and renovations of Old Main.

"I had outstanding craftsmen working for me and that was the key to my success," Lewis said. "Throughout the years that I was in construction and design, I employed CU football players and then basketball team members during the summer months. Several of the young men I employed have gone on to become great CU athletes and very successful business people in their chosen fields."

His gift to the College of Engineering brings the total number of endowed chairs and professorships in the college to nine. Professor James Diekmann, an expert in construction engineering, project control systems and risk analysis, has been selected to hold the endowed chair.

Diekmann joined the department of civil, environmental and architectural engineering at CU-Boulder in 1979, after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Washington and working in the construction industry for 12 years. He has been honored with the department’s Civil Engineering Distinguished Achievement Award, Service Award and Teaching Award; as well as the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize and the Center for Public Resources’ Outstanding Achievement Award.

"We are pleased to have the support of alumni such as Stan Lewis as we strive to maintain high-quality programs with the best faculty," said engineering Dean Ross Corotis. "Stan is a longtime friend of the college, whose involvement will have an impact on student learning for a long time to come."