The University is saddened to announce the death of Deborah Lewis, Senior Lecturer in the Accounting, Finance and Law division of the School of Management, and Director of Studies for the Full-time MBA programme. Deb joined the School of Management in 2015.
Following her bachelor’s degree at Aberystwyth University, Deb spent three years working in Madrid before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young, working as a professional accountant in London, Vancouver and Plymouth, before moving to Estee Lauder. Completing an MBA at Swansea University in 2003, she moved into the academic world, lecturing at BPP before joining Swansea University as Associate Professor – a post she held for 11 years.
Moving to Bath in 2015, Deb quickly became an important part of the School’s fabric, greatly respected and much admired. Alongside her teaching and administrative roles, she had embarked on a Doctor of Education programme.
Professor Brian Squire, Acting Dean of the school, commented: “Deb was an outstanding teacher, colleague and role model. She challenged and supported our students in equal measures, inspiring them to expect more of themselves. She worked tirelessly to improve our MBA programme, shuttling across campus to spend time with the MBA team in East Building and her colleagues at the top of Wessex House. Always happy to help, always willing to go above and beyond for our student body. We’ll miss her greatly.”
Deb had quietly battled cancer for many years. Despite increasing severity of both disease and treatments, she never let this get in the way of her passion and commitment to the School and her students. Those who knew something of her condition admired her ability to focus energy on students’ wellbeing – never complaining for herself.
Expressions of support, sympathy, love and admiration have flooded in, to an extent that would have surprised and amazed Deb. Whether from students past and present, colleagues, friends or others, all are deeply saddened by her passing but all recognise that their lives have been enriched through knowing Deb.
The University will announce details of a ceremony in celebration and memory of Deb once the current Covid-19 situation has eased.
It was Deb’s wish not to have flowers sent either to family or for her funeral. Instead, she wished for donations either to Maggie’s Swansea Cancer Care Centre, MacMillan Cancer Trust, Cancer Research UK or other local cancer charities in her memory.
Deb’s funeral will be on Wednesday 20th May at 2pm in Swansea. As only 10 people are allowed to attend (i.e. close family), her husband has asked that people take some time out to think about Deb and to raise a glass to her.
We know that Deb’s death will affect fellow colleagues and students and a range of support is available for our students and staff:
- If you are a student, Wellbeing Support is available from Student Services, or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Help is also available from The SU’s Advice and Support Centre
- If you are a member of staff, counselling support is available from the Staff Counselling Service.
- The Chaplaincy staff are happy to talk with anyone who has been affected, in total confidence. Please email email@example.com or Nigel Rawlinson.
- Cruse Bereavement Care offers free confidential support by telephone, email or face-to-face.