John Levato and Student Group

In Memory of John Levato

It is with great sadness that the School of Business notes the passing of John Levato, longtime Assistant Dean for Alumni Relations & Development and Career Services.

John Levato was the heart and conscience of the School of Business. He was single-minded about his ultimate responsibility: the wellbeing of our students. He was not a man to bend too much, but he was the guardian and enforcer of excellence and equitable standards for all students in the school. He touched every student that ever passed through the school in ways that were meaningful, constructive and everlasting. John’s dedication and commitment to the school was remarkable and unwavering.

During his 40+ years at UAlbany, John served as a trusted counselor to thousands of students, taking pride in mentoring them to succeed academically as well as in their life pursuits. He made it a priority to maintain contact with students after graduation, ultimately creating lifelong friendships. John Levato never forgot a name.

John was born in Rochester and graduated from East Rochester High School in 1961. He earned a degree from Monroe Community College where he edited the yearbook, served as a “police officer” writing summons to students who violated the school’s code of conduct, entertained fellow students with a comedy routine, and served on student government. After completing a B.A. in History from SUNY Cortland in 1967, John continued his studies in history with an M.A. from the University at Albany in 1970. After beginning work on a Ph.D. in history, John found his calling in college advisement, first as a graduate student and then as a fulltime staff member.

He quickly made his way to the School of Business, taking a job in academic advisement for the University College (now called the Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies) in 1970, moving to the registrar’s office in 1977 and then to the School of Business in 1978, when he strengthened the criteria for admission to the school. He was named Assistant Dean that year. In 1997 he created and took the helm of the School of Business Office of Career Services and Alumni Development.

John Levato’s life was the School of Business. “See Levato,” was a familiar directive within the school. He was honored with the University Excellence in Service Award in 1979 and 2004, and the University Excellence in Academic Advisement Award in 1982. In 2004, he received the Silver Helmet award from Delta Sigma Pi for 25 years of service, and the Torch Award from the Class of 2004. Most recently, in 2013 he received the “JFK Student Champion of the Year” from the National Association of Black Accountants and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting.

A remembrance of John is not complete without golf. John was a member of the Albany Country Club for twenty years and served on their board. He shot a hole-in-one there. Since the University at Albany campus was built on the grounds of the original Albany Country Club, it could be said that John spent all of his time on a golf course.

John Levato’s obituary was published in the Times Union.

The University at Albany story on John Levato.