Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 27, 1995

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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