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Impact of Giving: Pam and Larry Levy
Impact of Giving: Pam and Larry Levy

Larry Levy is a serious student. He studies history, political science, philosophy and economics. He doesn’t cut class and does the reading for each course “religiously,” he says.

But there are key differences between Larry and his classmates. First, he’s a grandfather. Second, he’s a former corporate attorney. Third?

“I’m like the other undergraduates,” he says. “Except I go up the stairs a lot more slowly.”

As Larry and his wife Pam audit classes through Portland State’s senior adult learning program, their support of the University has deepened, with gifts to the President’s Circle, Friends of History and the International Community Development Fund.

Now they’ve established the Lawrence Levy and Pamela Lindholm-Levy Judaic Studies Program Fund to support speakers, performances, symposia and other programming. Part of their gift will be outright and part will be a gift through their estate to permanently endow the fund. Larry hopes the fund will distinguish the department as a leader among West Coast colleges and universities.

The Levys’ relationship with PSU goes beyond the classes they take and the gifts they make. They love the campus and attend plays, lectures and operas. Larry sits on the Friends of History Board and the Judaic Studies Advisory Committee.

“Also,” he says, “I love PSU because of the students. They’re really serious. They’re here because they want to be here. So are we.”

This fall, PSU began offering a major in Judaic Studies, providing undergraduate students with a rigorous yet accessible education in Jewish history, culture and religion.

This new degree is the latest step in the evolution of the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies, which owes its growth to countless donors who have funded faculty positions, scholarships, symposia and lectures.

Philanthropy “has been huge” in developing the program, says Professor Natan Meir, the Lorry I. Lokey Chair in Judaic Studies. “Frankly, the program wouldn’t exist without it.”

The first course in Jewish studies at PSU—Beginning Hebrew—was offered in 1961. But the program has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2003, thanks to the Harold Schnitzer family, Professor Emeritus Nathan Cogan, Steven Kaufman, Lorry I. Lokey, Dick Solomon ’69 and Alyce Flitcraft and many others.

“We really feel like it’s a partnership between the university and the local Jewish community," says Meir.

For more about supporting the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies, please contact Pat Regan, Senior Director of Development, 503-725-8118, reganp@psuf.org.