Wells Names 2017 Commencement Speaker

April 6, 2017
Pamela Lewis ’80, founder and president of Nashville’s PLA Media, will provide advice and insight to the Class of 2017.
pam lewis portrait

Alumna and music industry icon Pamela Lewis '80 will address the Wells College Class of 2017 at this year's Commencement ceremonies. Commencement will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 20, on the front steps and lawn of Macmillan Hall on the College's campus in Aurora, N.Y.

"At Wells, I immediately fell in love and found a home, a place that was nurturing while also academically and culturally rigorous," Lewis said. "I largely attribute much of my success, lifelong love of learning, and overall daring entrepreneurial spirit to this 'well-kept gem' we all know as Wells College!"

Pam Lewis is an entrepreneur, preservationist, philanthropist and author known for her management, marketing and career development of world-famous musicians and recording artists. In 1985, she formed the award-winning Pam Lewis and Assoc.—now PLA Media—and took on the unknown Garth Brooks as her first client, working with Brooks until 1994. Lewis also brokered Trisha Yearwood's record deal with MCA Records, leading to certified double platinum album and Top Female Vocalist award from the Academy of Country Music.

Early in her career, Lewis was part of the Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment Company's publicity and marketing team that launched MTV; she also worked with the sister channels Nickelodeon, the Movie Channel and A&E. After taking a position with RCA Records and relocating to Nashville, Tenn., she helped shape the careers of stars such as Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, the Judds and Alabama.

Lewis has also contributed to her community as an elected official, serving terms as alderman-at-large and vice mayor. She is currently on the Housing Commission, chairs the Battlefield Commission, and is on the Historic Nashville Commission. She has served on or led committees for the Tennessee State Museum, BRIDGES Domestic Violence Center, Sister Cities of Franklin, Battlefield Preservation Commission and much more. Her other community outreach efforts include historic preservation and green space causes, women and children's advocacy, educational scholarships, fair housing and environmental and animal rights protection.

"We are pleased that Pam has accepted our invitation to speak with our students," said Wells President Jonathan Gibralter. "She has boundless energy and is yet another example of the value of a Wells College education."

In the event of inclement weather, proceedings will be held in the newly-renovated Frances Tarlton Farenthold Wing of the Schwartz Athletic Center. Additional information and a schedule are available at wells.edu/commencement.

Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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