Max Solomon Lewis, a rising third-year student in the College, is remembered by members of the University of Chicago community for his constant enthusiasm and the care he extended to others.
A double major in economics and computer science from Denver, Lewis died on July 4, three days after being hit by a stray bullet while riding an off-campus Chicago Transit Authority train. He was 20 years old.
“The University is devastated by Max’s loss. During this sorrowful time, our deepest sympathies are with Max’s family, friends and all who knew him,” wrote Provost Ka Yee C. Lee and Dean of Students Michele Rasmussen in a message to the University community. “Max was a talented student and beloved campus leader and friend who will be greatly missed.”
Lewis was president of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and member of Promontory Investment Research (PIR), a student-run publication. Through his many UChicago activities, Lewis made a lasting impact on many of his classmates, who remembered him as unconditionally supportive.
Joyce Liu, a rising third-year student, recalled regular phone calls she had with Lewis, which she called “incredibly grounding,” especially in the midst of the pandemic. The last time they spoke, they began celebrating an offer Lewis had received for a summer 2022 internship—a topic he quickly interrupted to discuss new ideas as members of PIR.
“He was always thinking about others, always thinking about ways to improve the communities and people that he cared deeply about,” Liu said. “That was something that was so incredibly special about Max.”
Victoria Gin, a rising fourth-year student, met Lewis through their involvement in PIR. Now the president of the organization, she recalled Lewis’ warmth and “can-do” attitude. “Even in a virtual environment, Max would find a way to make everyone laugh,” she said. “It was incredible.”
Gin once invited Lewis to a dinner with friends to celebrate the end of the quarter. Lewis said he already had both lunch and dinner plans—but he joined them for a second dinner regardless. “He found a way to make sure he could participate and be present at every single event possible,” Gin said. “I have no idea how he was able to do it all, but he made sure to show up.”