Lewis University was founded in 1932 by the Archdiocese of Chicago and Bishop Bernard J. Scheil as the Holy Name Technical School. The school gets its name from philanthropist Frank J. Lewis who funded the construction of many of the school's buildings. During these early days, aviation technology courses were chosen as the special emphasis of instruction, becoming the origin of today's highly regarded Department of Aviation and Transportation Studies. The school was incorporated in 1934 under the name Lewis Holy Name Technical School. In 1935, it became Lewis Holy Name School of Aeronautics, a name which is engraved in stone on the building now known as the Philip Lynch Theatre at the Oremus Fine Arts Center.