Levato the Legend

At the John Levato Memorial Celebration in April, alumni, students, faculty, and staff gathered to remember a man who is impossible to forget. For more than 40 years at the University at Albany, John Levato advised thousands of students. In an interview conducted last year, he estimated that he knew 13,000 students throughout his career.

Levato with GraduatesAt the event, School of Business Dean Donald Siegel spoke of a man he did not always agree with, but who earned his respect. Of the assistant dean’s dedication, Dr. Siegel said, “John had a single goal, helping students succeed in their careers.”

A variety of speakers shared their memories. John’s old friend and colleague, Jonathan Bartow ’84, Director of Graduate Studies, who knew him in his early days at UAlbany, remembered John as a champion of the School of Business and of the university. Dr. Sanjay Goel, chair of the Information Technology Management Department called him a true friend and mentor. John’s brother Ray Levato said John’s life was in Albany with students.

Alumni Jeff Black ’76, Richelle Konian ’95, Alan Mantel ’85, Wendy Hale ’05 and David Buzen ’81 spoke of the counselor who listened and understood, and who pushed them to always do their best.

Buzen gave John credit as the modern day organizer and founder of the School of Business. Black said, “I believe that others touched more lives than John did, but few positively impacted more with wisdom and heart.” John was an inspiration to Konian and the others. She said, “He had a larger-than-life persona with a big heart for students.”
Mantel said, “Being one of John’s students meant that I was part of the family and had all of his loyalty, support and encouragement.”

Hale understood that John gave of himself until the very end of his life. She said, “Together we can ensure that his legacy is never forgotten by continuing to invest in UAlbany students.”

Dr. Goel and Lauren Ursaki ’13, ’14, a student who worked for John, described the assistant dean’s efforts to persevere as he got sicker. Ursaki said, “On the days he had the least amount of energy, he continued to put his whole entire heart into the students of the School of Business. I have never seen someone with so much courage and so much commitment to the success of others.”

Dean Siegel has an idea of what the former counselor is up to now. He said, “John, I know you are up there, probably helping St. Peter with his resume.”

If you would like to make a gift in support of the John Levato Scholarship, please contact Bill Roller at wroller@albany.edu.

Collage of pictures from John Levato memorial event