Former eagle receives posthumous degree

Matt Zielske

Jeron Lewis wasn’t only an athlete, a father, a teammate and a soon-to-be husband, but also a student. His passing on January 14, 2010 not only resulted in the loss of an individual who impacted the USI community greatly, but a student who wasn’t able to complete a journey that many do.


The Board of Trustees recognized Lewis’ commitment to his team, family and community May 8, 2010 when the board awarded Lewis a posthumous degree for the bachelor of science in kinesiology.

Provost Ronald Rochon gave the degree in Indianapolis this past semester.

“We went to Indy and had an elegant ceremony,” Rochon said.

Head coach Rodney Watson described the ceremony as beautiful and well-done.

It was a celebration of Lewis’ life. Family and friends sat and discussed the moments that reflected his life. There were an abundance of them, according to Watson.

“It was a first-class move by our university and the family greatly appreciated the degree,” Watson said.

In order for a student to receive a posthumous degree, he or she has to be very close to graduation. Rochon said he or she must have about 85 percent of his or her degree finished.

In addition to this, the student must be in good academic standing with the university. If all of these requirements are met, the Board of Trustees vote on it at a meeting.

This was the case in May when they approved the award.

“I thought it was a great decision by the university and a nice gesture,” said Athletic Director John Mark Hall.

Hall said it’s been a rough year and that it’s always important to celebrate Lewis’ life. The giving of this degree was a step in that direction.

In the history of the university, only four or five posthumous degrees have been awarded.

Watson reflected on how upbeat and positive Lewis was.

“He always had a smile and was a hard worker,” Watson said. “He knew when to have a good time and get serious.”