Levan donation will up the amount of scholarships given

Trina Goree, Reporter

Due to the passing of Norman Levan, a dermatologist, supporter of higher education, and a donor of approximately $14 million to Bakersfield College, the BC Foundation Department will eventually award more scholarships to more students. About $10 million of the donation will be used in forming a Norman Levan Scholarship Endowment fund.

“Four million has arrived,” stated Tom Gelder, current executive director of the Foundation department. Levan donated $14 million to BC in March 2011, but the money wasn’t to be distributed until his death.

The $4 million parceled payment is a series of payouts that will be distributed from the Levan estate. The second parcel will be disbursed later in this calendar year and the third parcel will conclude in the spring of next year. Gelder mentioned that it is not unusual for these types of donations to be parceled out in that manner.

The endowment will sit in an account to generate income.

“It will take a full year to reach its maximum effect,” said Gelder.

Gelder mentioned that he was happy to update the student body regarding Levan’s scholarship endowment fund.

The philanthropy of Levan will increase the amount of students receiving scholarships dramatically. This will not be an avenue students who are graduating or transferring this academic year will be able to benefit from.

A soon-to-be BC graduate, Melissa Johnston, who plans to transfer to Cal State-Bakersfield, expressed her thoughts that this predicament is unfair to transferring students.

“A lot of students depend on scholarships for gas, rent, and food,” she said.

Reg Autwell, a BC student who also plans to transfer to Cal State-Bakersfield, feels there is no issue with transferring students not being able to qualify for scholarships from Levan’s donation.

“I’m OK with it because if I was here just for the money, that’s not right,” Autwell said. “I’m here for an education.”