1991 Hall of Fame Inductee
Thank Ben Lewis if you have ever sat in one of the 65,000 seats in Lavell Edwards Stadium or in one of the 22,700 seats in the Marriott Center. The key athletic-administrative link, Ben had the financial vision that made construction of these showcase athletic arenas possible. Ben contributed to the success of the athletic department through behind-the-scenes help in acquiring funds, facilities, and grants for the athletic program.
"His foresight, leadership, and dedication have helped to provide some of the finest athletic facilities in our nation," said Stan Watts, former BYU basketball coach, athletic director, and supervisor of Western Athletic Conference basketball officials.
Ben assisted in planning, obtaining board approval, and making financial arrangements not only for Cougar Stadium and the Marriott Center but also for the Richards Building, racquetball courts, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, annex for the George Albert Smith Fieldhouse, baseball field, lighted tennis courts and playing fields, restrooms and additional seating in the old stadium, hiring of athletic personnel, and forming of the Cougar Club.
Ben is an avid supporter of the BYU athletic teams. Besides regularly attending athletic events, he almost daily uses the university's athletic facilities, particularly the racquetball courts, swimming pools, sauna, and shower and dressing facilities.
He was president of the student body at BYU, and he has also received an honorary doctorate degree from the university. Before he became employed at BYU in 1952, he was a budget and procedures officer at the National Housing Agency in Washington, D.C., and then budget director for the Marriott Corporation headquartered there.
During his years of service at BYU, he has been director of Auxiliary Services, vice president of Business Affairs, chair of the BYU Master Planning Committee, chair of the Major Gifts Committee of the Excellence in the Eighties $100 Million Campaign, and executive vice president from 1969 until 1979, when he retired. Always active in the Church, he has served as a stake president, regional representative of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, member of the Sunday School General Board, and mission president (in England).
Ben is married to Barbara Rae Wootton, and they are the parents of three boys, two girls, and three foster children.