William C. Levin, M.D. passed away on Monday, January 28, 2013.
Born March 2, 1917 in Waco, Texas, Dr. Levin was preceded in death by his wife, Edna Seinsheimer Levin, his daughter, Lynn Levin Cantini and his parents, Jeannette C. Lipson and Samuel P. Levin.
Dr. Levin received his B.A. degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 1938 and his M.D. degree in 1941 from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He completed an internship at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago in 1942, a residency in Internal Medicine in 1944 at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, and postgraduate work in Hematology at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis. He joined the UTMB faculty as an Instructor in 1944. His positions at UTMB have included Warmoth Professor of Hematology, Director of the Hematology Division of the Department of Internal Medicine, Medical Director of the Blood Bank, Director of the Clinical Research Center, and President of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, a position he held from 1974 until 1987. In May, 1998, he was named President Emeritus by the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System.
He held numerous national and state professional appointments. He was a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He was the Executive Director of the Center for Health Manpower and Allied Health Sciences with the World Health Organization. He served as Consultant to the Surgeons General of the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force and as a member of numerous review committees of the National Cancer Institute. He served as a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for Cancer Prevention and Control of the National Cancer Institute. Other appointments include the Texas Cancer Council, the Governor’s Special Committee to the Post-Secondary Medical, Dental and Allied Health Education Committee, and the Board of Directors of the Texas Society to Prevent Blindness. He also served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Quality of Academic Programs, the Texas A & M Project 2000 Committee, the Governor’s Task Force on Indigent Care, the Executive Board of the United Way of Texas, and the State Health and Public Policy Committee. He served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sickle Cell Trait, as President of the Board of Directors of Texas Coastal Higher Education, Inc., as chairman of the Advisory Council of Bloodonor Programs, Inc., as consultant to the Hematology & Pathology Devices Panel of the Bureau of Medical Devices of the Food and Drug Administration, as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council on Alcoholism. He authored more than 200 scientific papers for professional journals.
Dr. Levin was elected a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and President of the Texas Chapter of the American College of Physicians. He was elected to membership of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics and to the Society of Sigma Xi. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Kappa. He was a member of numerous professional and scientific organizations, including the American Medical Association, the Association of Academic Health Centers, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Association of American Blood Banks, The American Association for Cancer Research, the American Federation for Clinical Research, The American Society for Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Internal Medicine, the New York Academy of Sciences, the Phi Beta Kappa Associates, the Reticuloendothelial Society, the Society Experimental Biology and Medicine, the Texas Academy of Internal Medicine, and the Texas Medical Association. He served as President of The Philosophical Society of Texas.
Among his honors were the Nicholas and Katherine Leone Award for Administrative Excellence at UTMB in 1977, Docteur Honoris Casus de L’Universite de Montpellier in 1980, and in 1981, Commandeur des Parmes Academiques (Commander of the Palms)-the highest honor conferred upon an academician by the French Government. He was awarded the 1984 Spirit of Giving Award by the Mental Health Association in Galveston County. March 2, 1986 was proclaimed William C. Levin Day in Lockhart, Texas. In 1986 he was named Ashbel Smith Professor. The University Area Association awarded him The R.E. “Bob” Smith Award for Leadership in 1987. In 1988 he received the National Cancer Institute Outstanding Service Award and the Christie Mitchell Beachcomber Award. The Brown Foundation, in 1991, endowed a $500,000 chair at UTMB to be known as the William C. Levin Chair in Enviromental Toxicology. The Learning Center at UTMB was renamed William C. Levin Hall by the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System. In 1992 he received the John G. Sinclair Sigma Xi Award at UTMB. In 1995 he received the Lareate Award from the American College of Physicians. He also received the Southwest Oncology Group Dedication Award, NASA Group Achievement Award, National Cancer Program Outstanding Contribution Award, the Open Door Award from News Media of Galveston County, and the Galveston Historical Foundation Texas Landmark Award.
During his tenure at UTMB, Dr. Levin was instrumental in securing funding for educational and research programs, and for major construction projects at the University. He was responsible for the construction of fifteen buildings and he helped in the renovation and preservation of the Ashbel Smith Building (Old Red). He trained thousands of medical students and residents during his many years of service.
Dr. Levin served on the Board of Trustees of Temple B’nai Israel. He served as president of the congregation and he served on the national board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. Other local activities in which Dr. Levin was involved included being president of the Grand 1894 Opera House, chairman of the United Way of Galveston, and community advisor of the Junior League of Galveston County, Inc. He also served on the boards of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce, Rosenberg Library Association, Trinity Episcopal School, U.S. National Bank, Menil Foundation of Houston, First Republic Bank of Galveston, Houston Institute for Arts in Education, American Indemnity Financial Corporation, and the Galveston Artillery Club. He served on the Galveston Park Board of Trustees, the Galveston College Foundation Board, American Cancer Society and was a member of the Galveston Rotary Club.
Dr. Levin is survived by his daughter and her husband, Gerry Lee and Eugene Hornstein, two grandchildren, William Joseph Hornstein and his wife, Kelly, and Susan Lee Hornstein, two great-granddaughters, Rebecca Kaylee Hornstein and Jennifer Lynn Hornstein, and son-in-law, Armin Cantini.
The family would like to give special thanks to the staff at The Cottages at Clear Lake, the staff at The Meridian, Rochon Chatman and Alma Fontenot for their wonderful and compassionate care.
Pallbearers will be Dr. Jack B. Alperin, Mr. Fredrick J. Bradford, Mr. James B. Earthman, Dr. Alvin L. LeBlanc, Mr. James W. Little, Mr. E.J. Pederson, Dr. Courtney M. Townsend, Jr., and Mr. James L. Ware. The honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Donald S. Prough and Mr. Stephen R. Lewis, Jr.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Endowment Fund of Temple B’nai Israel, 3008 Avenue O, Galveston, Texas 77550, the Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice Street, Galveston, Texas 77550, the Rosenberg Library, 2310 Sealy Street, Galveston, Texas 77550, or the charity of your choice.