The Cardinal of Westwood
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25 years, Congressman Jerry Lewis has been a powerful
voice on Capitol Hill and a valuable friend to UCLA
Photography by Cade Martin
walk into Rep. Jerry Lewis' Rayburn Building office on Capitol Hill
is to enter a virtual shrine of UCLA memorabilia.
the UCLA chair. There's a Bruin cap on a shelf. A UCLA mouse pad
is next to the computer. Scattered throughout are numerous stuffed
Bruin bears. Check out the congressman's Web site and there's a
link, in Bruin blue, to UCLA.
then there's Bruin himself, Lewis' fluffy, white, snowball-shaped
3-year-old bichon frisé-poodle mix, who was a gift from his
wife, Arlene, and is a constant companion both in the office and
was no discussion about the name," says Lewis '56. "It
Lewis never misses a chance to give a nod to his alma mater.
indeed it is good to have friends in high places, and Lewis' place
is among the highest. With 25 years on The Hill, Lewis has risen
to become the third-ranking Republican on the House Appropriations
Committee and chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee,
a perch from which he is largely responsible for managing the $400-plus-
billion Defense Department budget.
one of the most powerful men in Washington, Lewis has been instrumental
in helping UCLA at times of great need. When the Northridge earthquake
hit the Los Angeles region in 1994, Lewis came to UCLA to tour the
damaged campus with James Lee Witt, then director of the Federal
Emergency Management Agency. With Lewis' assistance, FEMA funding
was secured to assist with the restoration of Powell Library and
not for Jerry Lewis, there would be a whole generation of students
who missed the experience of higher education in those magnificent
campus buildings," says Chancellor Albert Carnesale. "He
was enormously helpful in securing the funding to keep us up and
running following the earthquake."
also helped UCLA to secure FEMA funding to build a new hospital
to replace UCLA Medical Center, which was badly damaged in the quake.
The new hospital is scheduled for completion by the end of 2005.
Lewis has really been a leader and an advocate for all of higher
education, particularly in support of science and research,"
notes Keith Parker, assistant vice chancellor for government and
community relations. "He has a tremendous sense of pride and
loyalty for UCLA."