University History

Lewis Thomas Booker, Esq.

Rector of the Board of Trustees, University of Richmond, 1973-1977, 1981-1985, 1991-1994

Booker, Esq.

The fourth generation of his family to attend the University of Richmond, Lewis Booker received a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University in 1950 and a law degree from Harvard in 1953, after which he served in the U.S. Army in Korea and at the Pentagon. He has been a member of the University of Richmond’s Board of Trustees since 1972, serving three terms as rector. Since 2002, he has served as trustee emeritus. Booker received the honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Richmond in 1977, the Trustees’ Distinguished Service Award in 1982 and the President’s Medal in 2002.

Mr. Booker established the Russell E. and Leslie Sessoms Booker Scholarship in 1978 to honor his mother, Leslie Sessoms Booker, W’22 who served as alumnae secretary for the Westhampton College alumnae association from 1943–1968 and his father, Russell E. Booker, R’24, L’29, who taught in the law school and was executive director of the Virginia State Bar for many years. The scholarship gives preference to residents of Virginia and members of a Baptist Church affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia.

In May 1994, Mr. Booker was presented with the Alumni of the University of Richmond Award for Distinguished Service. He was praised for his “extraordinarily good judgment, exemplary integrity, and uncommon devotion to the University in leading it to a position of exceptional strength.” That year, the Booker Hall of Music, a wing of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts, was named in honor of Mr. Booker and his parents. The Lewis T. Booker Professorship of Religion and Ethics was established by the University of Richmond to honor him in 1994.

Lewis Booker has been a distinguished member of the Richmond legal community since he joined Hunton & Williams in 1956. He is currently senior counsel with Hunton & Williams and a substitute district judge for the 13th Judicial District (Virginia).

Mr. Booker’s service to local organizations includes the Richmond Symphony Orchestra Endowment, the Richmond Symphony Council, the Christian Children’s Fund and the Richmond Eye & Ear Hospital. He has served as chairman of the Westminster–Canterbury Foundation board, vice chairman of the Robins Foundation board and as a member of the board of Second Baptist Church. Mr. Booker is a fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Bar Foundation and a recipient of both the Hunter Martin Professionalism Award and the Hill-Tucker Public Service Award of the Bar Association of the City of Richmond. He is chairman of the Virginia Law Foundation Fellows.

Booker’s grandson, Richard Thomas Booker, is a member of the Richmond Class of 2008.