Nearly every professor hopes to be remembered on campus long after they have retired. Well, if you're a wealthy professor, one way to keep your reputation fresh on campus for decades to come is to endow something in your name.
We've covered a few other examples recently of faculty members making big gifts to the institutions where they teach. Both the large recent USC gifts by professors we wrote about here were for named initiatives — one a scholarship fund, the other a center.
Now, from Florida Atantic University comes the Dr. Morton and Cynthia Levitt Endowed Scholarship for Medical Education.
Why does Dr. Morton Leavitt have enough cash on hand to create a scholarship named after him and wife? Well, it's not from his FAU salary, that's for sure, nor from his stint as a hospital CEO.
Instead, Leavitt has family money, as he made clear in FAU's press release on the gift:
I am very proud to be a member of the Levitt Family — a family that taught me from an early age that charity, philanthropy, and service were the true measure of a person’s success. This gift was made possible because of the philanthropic and charitable vision of my father and mother and their families before them.
Over 10,000 familes in the United States have a net worth over $30 million — the kind of wealth that makes it possible for a professor to give a few million to his or her employer. Needless to say, university development officers should know if they have faculty members with this kind of money shuffling around campus.