Donor spotlight: Will Lewis, MBA '96, JD '96
What is your current title and position? What does your current job entail? Co-founder, CFO and senior vice president of administration, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals. We currently have two drugs (MTP Inhibitors) in Phase II/III human clinical trials for the treatment of high cholesterol.
What brought you to the Weatherhead School?
The joint JD/MBA program. I originally wanted to be a lawyer, but once I received exposure to the business world, the law degree became a complement to my business career.
Why do you choose to donate to the Weatherhead School?
Education is a philanthropic priority for both my wife and me. Beyond that, the long-term value of my MBA depends upon my (and others) continued support. The Weatherhead School, and Case Western Reserve University more broadly, have international reputations for excellence that require continued investment for improvement.
What is your favorite Weatherhead memory?
The first day of Professor Sam Thomas' finance class -- he scared everyone with his ultimatum summarizing what we were up against as students if we wanted to succeed. I came out of that class as motivated as I have ever been by any challenge.
Do you have any advice for Weatherhead School students currently in the same program in which you studied?
The MBA does not end at graduation. Start building your network now, with MBA graduates, those in the class behind you, as well as those in other schools at Case Western Reserve and beyond. Domain knowledge in a particular field is important, but the ability to work effectively as a member of a team is the key to success. Now, if I could only follow my own advice…
What do you like to do in your spare time?
My wife and I have a newborn son and a three-and-a-half year old daughter, so my primary hobby is my family. When I do have spare time I find myself drawn to mountaineering, music, woodworking and reading.
If you could invite any person (living or dead) to dinner, who would it be and why?
If I am going to answer this question honestly…All religious figures aside, I could not narrow it down to less than a couple (based upon my current interests which definitely change…).
1) Umberto Eco -- author of one of my favorite book, Foucault’s Pendulum. He has an encyclopedic knowledge and I would be fascinated by his perspective on almost any topic.
2) Reinhold Messner -- one of, if not the greatest, high altitude mountaineers in the world today. He was the first person to solo Mt. Everest and climb all 14 of the 8,000 meter peaks in the world without the use of supplemental oxygen. This represented an accomplishment which many thought impossible and it ranks up there with the four-minute mile in terms of its precedent for human achievement.