Lewis receives endowed scholarship from Cumbee family

Lewis University receives $100,000 endowed scholarship from Cumbee family

Published: August 15, 2013.


(Left to right) Cindy, John and Michael Cumbee

Lewis University has announced that alumnus John Cumbee and his wife, Cynthia have committed to providing a $100,000 endowed scholarship to assist Lewis students in need.

“Cindy and I had discussed providing a scholarship to a place that houses both Christian spirit and academic leadership. Having two degrees from Lewis and a son, Michael, who attends there now just made this a perfect time to give back to the University that had given so much to me,” John Cumbee stated.

A successful entrepreneur with two degrees from Lewis University, John credits his success to the education he received. The Frankfort resident said he feels strongly about providing future generations of Lewis University students with the opportunity to complete their education at a place he considers home. “We want students to know that there are no challenges they cannot overcome, and we wish to give that next young entrepreneur the chance to receive a Lewis education and go out into the world when they otherwise might have had difficulty in accessing their goals.”

John earned a bachelor’s degree at Lewis in 1979 and an M.B.A. in 1980. His impressive list of career accomplishments includes starting and selling three multi-million dollar companies. During his 29 years in business, John has worked with several Fortune 500 companies, including Pepsi, Ford, Honda, Chase and Caterpillar.

His business career started in 1978 at Mobil Chemical, a division of Mobil Oil Corporation, where he worked in sales and sales management. While at Mobil, John began work on his MBA. The combination of his advanced degree from Lewis University and his experience at Mobil prepared him to start his own business in 1984, when he established Cumbee Freight Systems, Inc., a trucking company. He sold Cumbee Freight Systems in 1989 to move on to his next endeavor. In late 1989, he started Able Temps, Inc., where he provided leadership as owner and president for almost a decade, before selling the business in late 1998.

After creating and turning Able Temps, Inc. into a successful business, Cumbee started Altus Partners dealing in mergers and acquisitions. In 2002, he established Blue Chip Trucking Company while still owning and operating Altus Partners. He sold Blue Chip in 2007. The next year, he opened Integrity Trade Services, Inc., a staffing agency which currently has five offices across four states.

The Cumbees have four adult sons. Cindy was an active participant in their education, dedicating countless hours to their schools as well as teaching CCD classes for over 15 years. She and John have been active members of St. Mary Parish in Mokena and St. Anthony Parish in Frankfort.

For more information on scholarships at Lewis University, visit www.alumni.lewisu.edu.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

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