Above: Samuel N. Levine (far left) with his mother and siblings in 1906 just before he left Russia to emigrate to Michigan.
Right: Samuel N. Levine and his wife, Anna, at Detroit's Belle Isle in 1959.
Since 2015, the Samuel N. Levine Semester in Detroit Support Fund has made our program experience possible for dozens of our students with financial need. The Fund was originally established through a remarkable gift that honors Samuel N. Levine’s lifelong commitment to both educational opportunity and the City of Detroit (more below about the namesake for this gift). Thanks to the generous support of an anonymous donor, this Fund makes SiD possible for many students who would not otherwise be able to participate.
For many of our students, contrary to popular belief, the costs of participating in Semester in Detroit and living in Detroit can actually be more expensive than staying in Ann Arbor. The availability of part-time student employment is much lower in Detroit, and there are also higher costs for transportation. Thanks to this Fund, Semester in Detroit is now a much more viable option for students who would normally need to work in order to benefit from our program. In addition to benefiting our students, the Samuel N. Levine Semester in Detroit Support Fund also brings greater benefit to our Detroit community partners by enabling many of our students to intern for an additional month in July after their classes have ended.
SID is truly grateful to this generous donor. We are humbled by the opportunity to honor the life and legacy of Samuel N. Levine by enabling more UM students to learn from Detroit and to develop long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with its rich array of community-based organizations and everyday leaders.
About Samuel N. Levine:
Mr. Levine emigrated by himself from Russia to Michigan in 1906 when he was 18 years old. He settled in the City of Detroit, where he lived most of his life, passing away shortly before his 99th birthday. He was able to marry, earn a modest living as a hide inspector, raise a family and own a home. He worked full time until after his 75th birthday, only retiring because he became blind. Mr. Levine's formal education ended when he was eight years old. At that time his father was conscripted into the tsar's army, and as the eldest child, Mr. Levine had to begin working and helping out full time at home.
Because his own formal education was so limited, Mr. Levine cherished the opportunity for education above all, and constantly emphasized this with his family. As a result, all six of his grandchildren graduated from college, two from the University of Michigan. This gift honors the legacy of Samuel N. Levine by offering scholarships and stipends to increase the diversity and volume of students who participate in the Semester in Detroit program. It is hoped that in this manner his desire to foster educational opportunity can live on, while paying homage to Detroit - the city where he chose to establish roots and create a better life for his descendants.