Santa Fe, NM – Groundbreaking for a major new building on the campus of St. John’s College will take place at a ceremony on Saturday, July 28, at noon, on the site of the planned Norman and Betty Levan Hall.
Dr. Norman Levan, an alumnus of the St. John’s College Graduate Institute in Liberal Education, has donated $5 million to help build a new center on the Santa Fe campus for the Graduate Institute. Dr. Levan’s gift will fund construction to house the college’s two graduate programs, as well as classrooms, faculty offices, and common space for students. Renowned architectural firm Lake/Flato, winner of the American Institute of Architects National Firm Award in 2004, will design the building.
Levan Hall, which will be situated between Weigle Hall and the Fine Arts Building, is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Levan’s late wife, Betty, who visited Santa Fe each summer while Dr. Levan was a student.
“The Graduate Institute changed my life,” Dr. Levan said when the gift was originally announced. “It was an amazing experience for me, and I’m grateful that this program exists.”
Building a home for the Graduate Institute is among the top priorities of the $125 million Campaign for St. John’s College, says Santa Fe president Michael Peters. “We are exceptionally pleased that an alumnus had such a good experience in the Graduate Institute that he wants to help the college build a permanent home for the institute,” he said.
Dr. Levan, who completed the St. John’s program in 1974, is a professor emeritus and former chief of dermatology at his alma mater, the University of Southern California School of Medicine. He established the Hansen’s Disease Clinic at the Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center in 1962 at the request of state and federal health officials. He currently resides in Bakersfield, California.
This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the Graduate Institute in Liberal Education. The first summer session of the Liberal Arts program was in 1967. The Eastern Classics program was added in 1994.