Charles Ashby Lewis and Penny Bender Sebring

NET WORTH: Unknown


FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Arts & Culture, Chicago Community 

OVERVIEW: Charles Ashby Lewis and his wife Penny Bender Sebring conduct their philanthropy through the Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation, which gave away around $3 million in a recent year. Support includes youth and arts organizations, largely in the Chicago area.

BACKGROUND: Charles Ashby Lewis graduated from Amherst College and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He worked at Merrill Lynch for nearly three and a half decades, rising to the role of vice chairman. He went on to found Coach House Capital.


EDUCATION & YOUTH: Lewis is involved with the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute, which the couple supports. Penny Bender Sebring is a senior research associate at the University of Chicago and co-founded the Consortium on Chicago School Research as part of the Urban Education Institute. Other grantees include Amherst College (Lewis is a life trustee), Evanston Scholars, Teach for America, Golden Apple Foundation, Northwestern University, Grinnell College, Penny's alma mater, and Foundation 65, a nonprofit that promotes literacy and arts projects that complement educational opportunities. The couple helped fund three collaborative “Careers in Education Professions” programs at University of Chicago, Amherst, and Grinnell.

Another important grantee is McGaw YMCA in Evanston: the foundation made a lead gift to create the MetaMedia Youth Center, a collaboration between McGaw YMCA, Youth Organizations Umbrella (Y.O.U.), and Northwestern University's Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP). 

ARTS & CULTURE: Lewis is a life trustee of Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Other grantees include Museum of Science & Industry, Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum, Chicago Public Media, and Children's Chorus of Springfield.

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the couple to stick with their select interest areas, with an eye towards Chicagoland. 


Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation
2735 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60201


Charles Ashby Lewis Linkedin Profile