Robert Levi Gave Energy, Resources to Alma Mater Many of Robert H. Levi's philanthropic legacies may be found at Johns Hopkins. He contributed frequently to the university and medical institutions. He was a staunch supporter of the Peabody Conservatory. And the sculpture garden he and his wife donated to the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1988 is a favorite resting spot for students, faculty and staff on the Homewood campus. The former vice chair of the Hopkins board of trustees, well known for supporting causes in his home city of Baltimore, died earlier this month of heart failure. He was 79. "Bob Levi was a Hopkins legend," university president William C. Richardson said. "Few alumni have been as devoted to this university as he was, and fewer still have given so much of their time, energy and resources in an effort to advance the cause of our university." A 1936 graduate who majored in economics, Levi had two successful careers. He started as a sales clerk for the Hecht Co. and, by 1955, at the age of 40, was named president of what was then the largest retail business in Maryland. After retiring from the Hecht Co., Levi joined the Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co. He spent nearly 20 years there, retiring as vice chairman in 1985. Levi was one of the founders of the Greater Baltimore Committee, the 40-year-old organization credited with the resurgence of the downtown area. He was also known for his deep respect for Hopkins, which awarded him an honorary degree in 1990. "If anybody had the right to push their weight around, he was that guy," said Jerry Schnydman, director of Alumni Relations and former director of admissions. "But he never did it. He never tried to use his influence." Levi, Schnydman said, always encouraged him to maintain the integrity of the admissions process and the university. "His passing was very sad," Schnydman said. "He was one of the great people who, fortunately, went to Hopkins and loved Hopkins. He made us a better place." Dr. Richardson said Levi would not be forgotten. "He will be deeply missed," he said. "His great example, however, will live on as a model of selfless commitment to one's alma mater."
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