The College of Law and Deborah Ronen, of Rochester, NY, have announced the creation of the Deborah and Sherman F. Levy 57, L59 Scholarship. The scholarship, as part of the Forever Orange campaign, builds on and memorializes the lasting contributions that Levy, who passed away in April 2018, made to his university, community and the legal profession.
“This scholarship will enable our students to realize their dream of a career in law and promote diversity and inclusion in our profession,” says Dean Craig M. Boys. “Levy’s scholars will bring wide-ranging perspectives to our classrooms, continuing Syracuse Law’s firm commitment to diversifying legal education and the legal profession, just as Sherm imagined it would be.”
Boyce continues, “Deborah Ronen’s vision and generosity—in Cherm’s memory—will not only help ensure that the law school is accessible to brilliant minds from among the widest possible group of students, but will actively encourage them to choose Syracuse Law as their law school of choice.”
Levey Scholar’s inaugural program is 2L Kerstein Camilien. “As a law student at Syracuse, there is no greater sense than knowing that our alumni and their families have us in mind. It is a reminder that there is no need to deal with the rigors of law school alone and some can be calmed,” he says. “Law School is stressful, and this scholarship relieved that stress by giving me something less to worry about. It made my career goals more achievable. I am so grateful for Deborah Ronen’s generosity and Sherman Levy’s inspiring legacy and I’m so proud to be a Levy scholar.”
Born in Rochester on July 4, 1935, Levy received a full scholarship at Syracuse University. After graduating in 1957, he joined the Faculty of Law and graduated with honors in 1959 and worked as an editor in Syracuse Law Review.
After graduating from law school, he founded the Robin & Levy tax law firm in Rochester, with Sydney R. Robin. The company eventually merged with Harris, Beach, and Wilcox to form Harris, Beach, Wilcox, Rubin, and Levey. Later in his distinguished career in tax law and estate planning, Levy joined Boylan Code in Rochester as a consultant.
Levy has served as an assistant professor at Cornell University School of Law, Simon University of Rochester School of Business, and Syracuse University School of Law.
He noted in a Syracuse Law article that his proudest accomplishment, as a teacher, was to create and co-manage the law school’s low-income taxpayer clinic. He helped secure the clinic’s original funding, in 1998, through a Congressional program.
In 1999, Levy founded the Law School Levy Lecture Series, which brings distinguished practitioners to Syracuse, including former American Bar Association President Robert McCratt. Levy’s daughter, Lynne Levy, followed her father to law school, graduating in 1994 and joining its faculty as a professor of legal writing until her departure in 2017 to become Clark University’s coordinator and assistant dean for health.
“Sherm was passionate about his university and, throughout his career, was a lawyer, educator, philanthropic leader, and volunteer, a strong believer in the need to advance his communities,” says Ronen. “The Schirm spirit is ingrained in this scholarship. He represents everything that is great about him: his keen mind, his kindness and grace, his enduring commitment to his profession, his open heart and his generosity in supporting countless generations of students.”
Levy once said, “What I love about practicing law is dealing with real people and real problems.” Syracuse Law. “I have never believed in the greatness of law. But I do believe in the rule of law which tries to solve problems in a civilized way through an organized process. Law is basically a framework within which a society tries to solve problems between people or hopefully avoid them.”
Together, Levi and Ronin have secured multiple art projects in their hometown. Organizations that have benefited from their generosity include the George Eastman Museum, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Eastman School of Music, and Garth Fagan Dance. Levy also served as Chairman of the Jewish Home Board of Trustees and Vice President of the George Eastman Museum. He has worked with the Rochester Area Community Foundation, and was on the board of directors for WXXI Public Media in Rochester.
About Forever Orange: Syracuse University Campaign
Orange is not only our color. It’s our promise to leave the world better than we found it. Forever Orange: The Syracuse University campaign is ready to do just that. Backed by 150 years of bold beginnings, together we can advance academic excellence, transform the student experience and expand unique opportunities for learning and growth. Forever Orange seeks to raise $1.5 billion in charitable support, inspire 125,000 individual donors to campaign and involve one in five alumni in the life of the university. It’s time to show the world what Orange can do. Visit foreverorange.syr.edu to find out more.