Passion for education, Coatesville fuels fund-raiser

Two city legends will host Harry Lewis Jr. Scholarship Event

By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times

Diana Robinson Lewis, a 1961 Coatesville graduate who excelled nationally in broadcasting, will return to Coatesville for the Harry Lewis Jr. Scholarship Event.

Two Coatesville legends will combine forces to share their passion for the power of education during a scholarship fund-raiser on Feb. 7.

Sponsored by the Brandywine Health Foundation, the Harry Lewis Jr. Scholarship Event will be held at Gateway Church in Parkesburg. It will feature its namesake, Harry Lewis Jr., a Coatesville alum who eventually became CASH principal, as well as Diana Robinson Lewis, a 1961 Coatesville graduate who gained acclaim as a TV anchor and film star.

The Harry Lewis Jr. Scholarship was established in the fall of 2011 by the Brandywine Health Foundation’s board of directors in honor of Lewis, its chairman and a lifelong Coatesville-area activist.

Harry Lewis Jr., chairman of the Brandywine Health Foundation, will co-host the Harry Lewis Jr. Scholarship Event with his sister-in-law, Diana Robinson Lewis. who retired last year after a successful career in TV news.

The scholarship is awarded annually to a student involved in the Coatesville Youth Initiative, a development program, who has demonstrated a commitment to improving the quality of life in the greater Coatesville community. It provides $5,000 toward tuition and fees for each year of study in an advanced two-  or four-year college program.

Harry Lewis Jr. served a distinguished career in education. During his 41-year tenure, he held the positions of social worker, special education teacher, physical education teacher, track coach, and assistant principal. In 2006, he retired as CASH principal. A USA Track & Field certified official, he continues to serve as the Penn Relay High School Referee. He also serves on the Lincoln University Board of Trustees and the YMCA of the Brandywine Valley Board of Directors.

Diana Robinson Lewis, his sister-in-law, also has roots as a Coatesville educator. After completing a bachelor’s degree in psychology, she worked  as a psychiatric social worker for Embreeville State Hospital from 1965-67 before teaching special education at Scott Intermediate High School, according to a Coatesville school district biography.

Her broadcasting career began in 1968 as an assistant producer on “Black Book,” a WPVI-TV show in Philadelphia. One night, the scheduled guest was ill, and Robinson was asked to fill in, a successful stint that led to her becoming the midday news anchor. In 1974, she moved to Los Angeles, where KABC hired her as a weekend news anchor and consumer investigative reporter. She also scored movie roles in  “Rocky” and “Rocky 5” and TV spots on “The Twilight Zone”, “Hunter”, “The Gary Shandling Show”, “Murder, She Wrote” and “The Million Dollar Caper.” In 1977, she relocated to Detroit where she anchored the news until her retirement in 2012.

Her extensive list of honors include her 2012 induction into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, 2012 Recipient of the “Heart of HAVEN” award for over 20 years of service to domestic-violence victims, 2008 inductee into the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, 2002 Emmy for best news anchor, and Lifetime Governor’s Award from the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences.

Tickets, which cost $60 per person – $40 of which is tax-deductible – must be purchased by Feb. 1 and include a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner and the program from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Corporate sponsorships are also available. For more information, visit, or call 610-380-9080, ext. 100.


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