Forty Under 40: Autumn Lewis Spicher

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,991 views 

Class of 2022 Forty Under 40 Autumn Lewis Spicher Director of Development; Honors College University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

A first-generation college student, Autumn Lewis Spicher has always had an innate desire to achieve.

As a high school senior in Joplin, Mo., she earned the prestigious Honors College Fellowship at the University of Arkansas. She built a strong leadership resume while earning political science and economics degrees, including Associated Student Government Senator of the Year, a chancellor’s office intern and Phi Beta Kappa inductee.

Spicher (pronounced Spicer) said it was a full-circle moment when the UA hired her to lead the Honors College’s development efforts in the spring of 2021. She referenced the Honors College Fellowship, made possible by a portion of the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation’s $300 million donation to the university in 2002.

“There are people who asked for that gift that paid for my college education,” she said. “The fact that I get to do that for future generations of students is a cool opportunity and makes me happy.”

Spicher launched her career in Washington, D.C., where she worked as a staff assistant to U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and as a development officer and state policy analyst for the National Council on Teacher Quality. She returned to Fayetteville in 2017 to work as the assistant director of development for the UA College of Engineering.

Before her current job, she worked for three years as the associate director of placement and operations for the UA-affiliated Arkansas Academy for Educational Equity.

Spicher earned a master’s degree in public administration from the UA in 2021. Furthering her public service is a goal, but she’s unsure where that road may lead.

“I believe in the power of government to make positive change in people’s lives,” she said.