Statement Honoring Lewis N. Walker

May 15, 2012

Mr. Speaker:

I rise today to pay tribute to Dr. Lewis N. Walker, who will retire next month after years of distinguished service at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan. 

Dr. Walker joined Lawrence Tech in 1994, serving as provost for 12 years.  During that time, he improved student access to computer technology, expanded international partnerships, and developed facility improvements to support emerging technologies and career fields.  Dr. Walker is also credited with fostering and instituting the only required undergraduate leadership program in the country outside the nation’s three military academies.

In 2005, again through Dr. Walker’s efforts, the University began a unique partnership with the Ferndale Public Schools to establish University High School, which offers a rigorous preparatory curriculum for public school students. This partnership is making a difference.  A full 99 percent of University High School’s first three graduating classes received their diploma, and 85 percent have gone on to higher education.  

In 2006, Dr. Walker was made President of LTU.  The severe economic downturn that began the following year brought a time of extraordinary challenge for the country, and especially for the State of Michigan.  With steep job losses, especially in our state’s vital auto and manufacturing sectors, there was a clear need for retraining of displaced workers.  Through Dr. Walker’s leadership, Lawrence Tech stepped up and addressed the challenge through the “Recovery Starts Here” initiative, which provided grants to over 650 displaced workers and supported efforts to diversify Michigan’s economy.  This program was widely replicated and serves as an example of the vital synergies that can and should exist between institutions of higher education and our nation’s economy.

Building on the successful redevelopment of the campus quadrangle and A. Alfred Taubman Student Services Center, Dr. Walker set in motion the next phase of growth of LTU by laying the groundwork for development of a state-of-the-art Engineering, Life Sciences, and Architecture Complex.  Over the years, my office has been pleased to work closely with Dr. Walker and his team on efforts to expand the University’s Center for Innovative Materials Research.  Dr. Walker has signed 40 agreements with other leading universities around the world to encourage partnerships and exchange programs.

Prior to his career at Lawrence Tech, Dr. Walker served at the University of Hartford as dean of engineering and a professor of electrical engineering.  He holds three degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has published more than 50 technical papers.  

In so many ways, Dr. Walker’s years of service at LTU have left the University and the community better than he found them.  I urge all my colleagues to join me in honoring Lewis Walker as he steps down as President of Lawrence Technological University next month.  I feel certain that the University and the State of Michigan will continue to benefit from his talents for many years to come.