Honoring the legacy of Leon Levine

Categories: General News Tags: Academic Affairs

UNC Charlotte remembers Charlotte business leader and philanthropist Leon Levine, who died Wednesday, April 5, for his expansive commitment to the University and his investment in high-achieving students. Through extraordinary support from the Levine Family Foundation, he and his wife, Sandra, made possible a comprehensive Charlotte experience for hundreds of students – and for countless future Niners.

With the establishment of the Levine Scholars Program in 2009, the Levines, through an initial investment of $5.6 million, signaled UNC Charlotte as a competitive, first-choice option for high-performing students who demonstrate and wish to further cultivate exceptional scholarship, ethical leadership and civic engagement in their educational journeys. Over the ensuing years, the Levines recommitted to the unique program they envisioned, for an eventual total of nearly $28 million to develop, expand and sustain the scholarship program.

“Leon and Sandra Levine have been stalwart supporters of UNC Charlotte. Through their generosity, hundreds of Levine Scholars have had the opportunity to pursue excellence in the classroom, while giving back to the community around them,” said Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber. “UNC Charlotte sends its deepest condolences to Sandra Levine and the entire Levine family as we mourn the passing of a man who helped transform education at our University and has improved the lives of countless Charlotteans.”

At UNC Charlotte, Levine Scholars are selected through a competitive application and interview process for scholarships that fully cover tuition, housing, meals, books, mandatory fees and summer experiences. The merit scholarships are valued at $105,000 for each Levine Scholar from North Carolina and $155,000 each for those from other states. Scholars receive additional funding to support civic engagement opportunities of their choosing — the program’s defining feature — and professional development.

Over the years, Leon and Sandra Levine regularly expressed the many ways Levine Scholars impressed them not only for their scholarship but for the leaders they became. With more than 100 alumni and dozens more in the pipeline, Levine Scholars live and work across the globe, among them several who have received U.S. Fulbright grants to study in countries that include Ecuador, India, Nepal and Sweden.

Levine Hall, a Levine family and Levine Scholars Program namesake, was dedicated in 2016. Prominently situated on UNC Charlotte’s University City campus, it houses the Levine Scholars Program and the Honors College as well as their administrative units, and is home to both honors and non-honors students. The building provides state-of-the-art student work-study areas, faculty work stations, and seminar and private one-on-one spaces.

Additional investment from the Levines includes support for the Levine Scholars Experiential Arts and Mentor Excursions Fund and the annual Let Me Play Luncheon, which supports women’s athletics. For their extraordinary contributions to UNC Charlotte, Leon and Sandra Levine received honorary Doctor of Public Service Awards from the University in 2010.