Meet the Board

This issue, meet Board of Trustees member
Peggy Wolff Lewis

Peggy Wolff Lewis

Peggy Wolff Lewis had fully embraced the Mission of the University of the Incarnate Word long before Dr. Louis Agnese Jr. asked her to serve on the board in 2001. Her husband, A.J. “Jack” Lewis Jr., had served as finance chairman for the board for nine years.

“We have a history of interest in the university, you could say,” Lewis said.

About a year into her appointment, Lewis was asked to lead a committee with a focus on all aspects of the university’s Mission.

She said the UIW Mission statement reflects the desire “to develop in the student a high sense of ethical responsibility and turn out a person who has the right values to go into a future life.”

“We place a strong emphasis on ethics,” she noted. “From the faculty level to the student level we stoke that feeling of goodwill. The university has a diverse group of students from many nations and we try to instill the same feeling in everyone that there is a mission in their life.”

The Mission committee schedules retreats for the Board of Trustees and secures guest speakers who address the responsibility of an educator to create good moral consciousness in the students they produce and the process for doing so.

“The faculty is also very involved,” Lewis said. “They bring it into the classroom and onto the whole campus. There’s a strong feeling of why you’re there besides learning in whatever your major may be.”

Lewis is proud to have been invited, along with congregants from Peru, Mexico, Africa and throughout the university’s reach, to participate in one of the planning sessions the university’s founders, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word hold every six years to set goals for their Mission.

“I came away so enriched by this experience. It was really a life-changing thing for me to see the dedication that these nuns have – the strength of their resolve to make this a better world,” Lewis said.

“I shall always appreciate being a part of that meeting. Something that was said then – ‘It’s not an I thing, it’s a we thing’ – that has stuck in my mind as something to live by.”

Lewis’s service to UIW is but an extension of her dedication to the community. She has served on the St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation and the Baptist Hospital Foundation boards for about 15 years and was president of the Junior League and the Charity Ball Association, an all-volunteer organization whose goal is to raise money for children’s charities.

“I’ve been very community-oriented all my life. It’s a very enriching experience. It’s part of my ilk.”

Lewis said the chief love in her life is her husband, their three children, nine grandchildren and a host of friends. She was proud to say her grandson just graduated from the H-E-B School of Business and Administration, a sentimental reward for her family’s dedication to UIW.

“I have a very positive feeling about the university. I feel that each day, each year they take a step forward,” Lewis said.