Barbara Levy ’77 was awarded the Lafayette Medal for Distinguished Service during Commencement in recognition of her long, dedicated, and distinguished commitment to serving the Lafayette community. Among her current roles, she is a member of the Board of Trustees as well as vice chair of the $400 million campaign Live Connected, Lead Change.
“It is not only important to serve yourself, but be cognizant of those who gave of themselves for you,” says Levy. “Because Lafayette was the foundation of my success, providing service to the College is one way of giving back. It is both deeply gratifying and humbling to see what our students accomplish.”
As a psychology major, Levy was interested in pursuing a career in the business world, but the concept of combining disciplines wasn’t well-defined at the time.
“Professor Marshall Brown was instrumental in creating a curriculum specifically to fit my focus of study,” says Levy, who retired in 2007 as executive vice president of merchandising for Ross Stores after 30 years in the retail industry. Brown also helped her secure an internship in public relations and marketing with Lehigh Valley International Airport.
“The Lafayette faculty did then, and continues today to connect with the students,” says Levy, whose deep ties to the College include her daughters, Rachel Hollander ’11 and Alyssa Hollander ’14.
Commissioned by the board in 1987, the Lafayette Medal is the College’s premier award for volunteers, given to those who have a demonstrated record of volunteer service in a variety of areas with noteworthy achievement in each. Levy is the 11th recipient.
“The reason I do this is simple—it is the right thing to do. I benefited from others who thought investing in my Lafayette education was worthwhile, and it paid off. I feel a debt of gratitude and responsibility to invest in others, because turning out quality individuals from Lafayette makes the world a better place.”