The Cardinal of Westwood
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experience as a student with Project India landed him on the
cover of the February 1956 issue of Look magazine
of the most significant events of Lewis' life occurred the summer
following his transfer to UCLA, when he was selected to participate
in Project India. Sponsored by UCLA's University Religious Conference,
Project India sent 12 undergraduates and two faculty advisers to
India for a summer to work with students in local communities.
experience was an awakening for Lewis. "Project India caused
me to look at the world in a different way and to realize America
has an ever-growing responsibility to effect change and to take
a leadership role in the world," he says.
part of the odyssey, a team of Look magazine journalists
accompanied the Project India group, chronicling their journey in
a 10-page feature, "America at Its Best in India." On
the cover of the February 1956 issue is a photograph of Lewis surrounded
by cheering Indian students.
Look photograph still brings a smile to the face of Bob
Stein '56, a Project India alumnus. "It is absolutely remarkable
that Jerry has not changed," he says. "The person you
see in the picture is the same person I know today."
then, his friends recall, Lewis was forming his political persona.
"If he found himself in a disagreement, Jerry used patience
and understanding in seeing the other side, but he was relentless
in making his point," says Stein. "He has the unique ability
to make those of us who start out disagreeing ultimately agree with
abilities were honed in India, as was his dedication to public service.
His Project India experience heightened Lewis' awareness of fostering
self-reliance and economic freedom and prompted Lewis' decision
to become a member of the Republican Party.
an effective leader like Jerry Lewis credits his experience at UCLA
for significantly and dramatically influencing his career and his
way of viewing the world, it sends a message that UCLA is a place
that prepares men and women who truly make a difference in society,"
Chancellor Carnesale proudly acknowledges.