Lloyd Lewan Kicks Off Inaugural Best of Colorado Speaker Series

“The greatest gift that anyone could ever receive is making the long walk from intelligence to wisdom,” said Lloyd Lewan, Ph.D., chairman of Lewan & Associates and pioneering dean of Semester at Sea.

The Jake Jabs Center of Entrepreneurship and CIBER welcomed Lloyd Lewan, known as one of Colorado’s greatest entrepreneurs, to an intimate crowd of University of Colorado Denver faculty, staff, students and local business professionals on Tuesday, April 18th, 2017.

Lewan’s “The Bureaucrat vs. The Entrepreneur” presentation captured all in attendance, and served as first in the Jabs Center’s “Best of Colorado” speaker series. Madhavan “MP” Parthasarathy, Ph.D., and director of the Jabs Center introduced Lewan as a dear friend and distinguished professional who embodied both an academic and entrepreneurial spirit.

In the late 1960s as a recent graduate of the Marine Corps, Lewan served as the first dean of Semester at Sea, an international ship board study program for college students, with no former experience working on a ship or building a curriculum. He spoke about his long road to learning to lead and how he had to embrace an entrepreneurial mindset in order to make the program successful.

“The first book I ever picked up as a doctoral student was ‘The Bureaucratic Experience.’” Lewan said. “From that book I learned that bureaucracy doesn’t equate to leadership. In order to lead, you have to have influence…but you have to earn the right to influence if you want to have influence.”

Having sailed across world with Semester at Sea more than 20 times, Lewan touched on his travels during his speech. Meeting with global citizens and powerful leaders (such as Desmond Tutu and Fidel Castro) alike shaped his worldview, teaching him empathy and humility. However, nothing seemed to humble him more than helping shape the lives of his students and helping them grow into leaders themselves.

“My students were my customers, and I learned that they didn’t want to be managed…they wanted to be led,” Lewan said. “It was my job to show them perspective and prepare them for the journey ahead.”

CU Denver Business School and Jabs Center student Brian Yormack was one of many who attended Lewan’s presentation. “As Lloyd spoke, his words were delivered to such an effect that I felt I was watching a sermon rather than a speech,” Yormack said. “I would say that this event may have been my favorite hour of any guest speaker I have had the privilege of indulging in during my time at the University. If the chance ever arises for you to hear Lloyd Lewan speak, it will be well worth your time to listen.”

Lewan currently serves as the co-founder for the Institute of Shipboard Education, and chairman of the board for Semester at Sea. He volunteers frequently and serves as a board member to several local organizations such as Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives, Women’s Economic Development Council and The Children’s Hospital in Denver.

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