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Renaming of the building

Published/Broadcast 31 March 2023

Our building has been officially renamed after Nobel Prize winning economist and LSE’s first black academic Sir William Arthur Lewis (1915-1991), who studied, taught and researched at the School. 

Formerly known as 32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields (32L) the site, now called the Sir Arthur Lewis Building (SAL), is home not only to all of us in STICERD and CASE, but also to the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), the International Growth Centre (IGC), the Department of Economics, and the Centre for Macroeconomics.

The new title was unveiled in a ceremony attended by Sir Arthur Lewis’ family, including his daughter and granddaughter, and the High Commissioner for St Lucia on Thursday 23 March 2023.

Commenting on the re-naming, LSE President and Vice Chancellor Minouche Shafik said: “Sir Arthur Lewis was a pioneer in the field of development economics and an outstanding student, teacher and researcher at LSE.  We are delighted to rename one of our buildings after him in recognition of his exemplary career and enduring legacy, both at LSE and beyond.”

Professor Sir Tim Besley, W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics at the Department of Economics (and former STICERD Director) added: “Nobody who studies issues in development can fail to appreciate Arthur Lewis’s legacy and his framing of development challenges as a process of structural change.  We honour that legacy at LSE to this day with a dedicated cadre of economists who study development and growth issues.  And we have many students from all over the world who come to the LSE study and research in development following in Arthur Lewis’s footsteps.”

Sir Arthur became LSE’s first Black academic in 1938 when he began a one-year teaching contract that was later converted into a four-year appointment, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for economics in 1979.

To find out more about Sir Arthur Lewis and his time at LSE, please visit the LSE History blog.

You can also watch a video about Sir Arthur Lewis and his enduring legacy.