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WVU Davis College to celebrate career and contributions of esteemed professor

Photo of Paul Lewis laughing

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University  will say goodbye to a beloved professor and a passionate advocate of students and the community when Paul Lewis  retires later this month.

Lewis has worked for WVU in multiple capacities throughout his decades-long career in higher education. Most of that time was spent in the WVU  Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, where he will retire from this year.

A dinner celebration will be hosted at 6:30 p.m. May 31 at the Erickson Alumni Center. Tickets are $50 a person and available for purchase online until May 25. Proceeds will go to Lewis’ chosen fund, the H.E. "Doc" Kidder Memorial Endowment. This endowment supports a broad range of activities benefiting the WVU Davis College, including the H.E. "Doc" Kidder Scholarships, which is awarded to students pursuing professional education based on academic performance, leadership and financial need. 

“My departure from WVU Davis College is with excitement and some sadness but no regrets,” Lewis said. “I hope I left a mark — or smudges — of my presence throughout my tenure as a faculty member. I leave with full confidence that I have contributed throughout my career to the mission areas of teaching, research and service within the College and University.”

Most recently, Lewis worked at the Davis College as the assistant director of outreach and community affairs. 

“Paul has an unwavering dedication to the people of West Virginia,” Matt Wilson, professor of animal sciences, said. “He has had a career that he loved and that had a tremendous impact on agriculture in the state.”

A WVU alumni, Lewis returned to West Virginia in 1978 as an animal scientist on a WVU project. Later, he became a faculty member in the division of animal and veterinary sciences. He was promoted to professor in 1985. 

He served as the director of the division from 1988 to 1993 and again from 2001 to 2010. Lewis later worked as the assistant director for outreach and community affairs within the Davis College Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station.

Lewis’ research focused on factors that improve reproductive efficiency in cattle and sheep. He was the principle or co-investigator on over $5 million in externally funded grants and authored or co-authored over 50 refereed manuscripts.

During his tenure, Lewis was the major advisor to more than 20 master’s and doctoral level graduate students. 

“I have had a most rewarding career highlighted by academic challenges and personal relationships with administration, faculty and staff, students, commodity and agency organizations, and the general citizenry of our state,” Lewis added. 

He has received many honors during his career in West Virginia including: West Virginia State Dairy Show Honoree in 1983, the Certificate of Merit to the West Virginia Beef Industry in 1985 and 2004, Gamma Sigma Delta Senior Faculty Merit Award in 1996,  WVU Heebink Service Award in 2002, lifetime member of the West Virginia Poultry Association and the Outstanding Alumnus of the Davis College in 2006. Lastly, Lewis was inducted into West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame in 2006.

Lewis, a Veteran, first came to WVU in 1968 to earn his master’s degree in reproductive physiology. He also earned his doctorate in reproductive physiology from WVU in 1973. 

In retirement, Lewis will make time for his hobbies like hunting, fishing and golf and may even train a new bird-dog puppy. He is also planning visits to friends and family.

“I wish the College much success with meeting the challenges going forward and I am certain that it will,” Lewis added. “Remember that ‘life may not always be tied with a bow, but it is a gift, so treat it as one.’”

To attend, RSVP by May 25. For questions or more information, email Tabitha Talbott, interim director of development, at

Consider giving to the H.E. Doc “Kidder” Memorial Endowment in Paul’s honor.

The Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design envisions a world sustainably fed, clothed and sheltered. To learn more about the Davis College, visit Keep up with the latest updates and news on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube by following @WVUDavis.



Interim Director of Marketing and Communications
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design