Attendees gather for the Levinson Family Hall dedication ceremony. Photo by Lauren Jindrich.
ERIKA KOVACH | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
On Oct. 7, Levinson Family Hall was officially dedicated to Frank and Kristin Levinson, who donated $10 million in contribution to its construction. During the dedication ceremony commemorating the Levinsons’ donation, various faculty and staff were able to speak about their experiences in the building thus far.
Levinson Family Hall is the newest building on campus and part of a larger campus construction project which has been underway for about three years.
In addition to the Levinsons’ donation, which was the largest gift from an individual or family, the Fairbanks Foundation provided an additional $13 million to the project — the largest funding from a foundation.
The building is set to complete the connection of both Holcomb and Gallahue halls, creating a new Sciences Complex.
Development officer Meagan Burton-Krieger said that at the end of the construction project, students will be able to travel from Jordan Hall to the Pharmacy and Health Sciences Building without going outside — something that will come in handy during colder months.
“This gift really is a testament to [Frank’s] own undergraduate experience … and his family has a deep love for this space,” Burton-Krieger said.
Frank Levinson graduated from Butler in 1975, following in his father’s footsteps in attending the university. Levinson came to Butler with a passion for the sciences.
Two gifts were presented at the ceremony as a thank-you to the Levinson family. One, Burton-Krieger said, constructed by student Paola Ariza, was a digital drawing of fingerprints using the words of various underrepresented people associated with science — an ode to the value of mentors.
The second was a wood etching of the observatory, done on one of the original seats of the planetarium, dating back to the early fifties when Frank Levinson’s father worked on the telescope there.
Even though the building was opened last year and classes have already been held there since that time, this semester brought updates and a new name to the building.
“ … If people have noticed, this academic year the room numbers are Levison Family Hall, LFH, so that’s the biggest impact,” Burton-Krieger said. “It really is a daily reminder of the gifts that help make this possible.”
Many students already spent time with their professors and peers in the building prior to this semester. Josh Wanninger, a junior combined astrophysics-astronomy and physics double major, says the building has changed his entire campus experience, especially as a commuter student.
“During my first year, I made no friends at Butler, had no place to go between classes and was not able to collaborate in research,” Wanninger said. “The following year in the Levison Family Hall, I became friends with more than half the majors in my department, worked closely with a professor on a research project in the new astronomy lab and used the physics student lounge as a place between classes to meet other students and collaborate on classwork.”
Molly Kubal, a first-year biology major, has three classes in the building.
“I really like the space overall,” Kubal said. “There’s a lot of great study spots, a very clean and modern look, and I love the science library. But the construction can be annoying, especially if I’m trying to complete a lab, or for other test takers.”
While Levinson Family Hall is already in use, a formal opening ceremony for the entire Sciences Complex is set to occur sometime in April once the final phase of construction is completed. At this time, other signs commemorating donors in classrooms and offices are set to go up as well.
Though it is just one part of the Sciences Complex, Burton-Kreiger hopes all students can utilize the space during their time at Butler.
“I think once the entire [Sciences Complex] has opened up it will be a little bit more consistent about where you are and what spaces you’re using, but by design, we wanted academic spaces that were open to the entire campus,” Burton-Krieger said. “So, the hope is that journalism majors will be in the space, history majors will be in the space, physics majors, chemistry majors and everyone in between.”