Lewis University was founded as Holy Name Technical School in 1932. Franklin J. Lewis, Chicago philanthropist, actively raised funds for the school from the beginning. It was best known for its aeronautical courses and was soon renamed Lewis Holy Name School of Aeronautics. During World War II, the high school closed and the campus was given to the Navy for flight instructor training. When the war ended, the school reorganized to include a junior college. High school classes ended in 1949 and women were admitted to the school. It was the first Catholic coeducational college in the country with laypeople as faculty and administration. The De la Salle Brothers assumed direction of the school in 1960. It became Lewis College in 1961 and achieved accreditation in 1963. In the early 1970s a College of Business, Continuing Studies and Nursing were formed. The name of the school was officially changed to Lewis University in 1973. Graduate degree programs were soon added and the university opened other regional campuses. The first Ph.D. program was formed in 2005.