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November 6, 2002

Passing on a Passion for Music

Paul Levin '73 first fell in love with Irish music and the Uilleann pipes on a trip to Ireland. An English major who studied the classics and enjoyed W.B. Yeats, Levin decided to visit the poet's homeland a year after he graduated from UMBC.

When he returned to Ireland in 1976, he learned how to play the pipes and bought his first practice set. Back home, he eventually found himself teaching music and performing with O'Malley's March, the Celtic rock band named after his band mate and close friend, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley.

Levin, who returned to his alma mater in 1998 to become director of the UMBC Technology Center, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in the fall of 2001 and died on May 28, 2002. Now Leslie Wilson, '74 and '76, and her husband Courtney Wilson -- who met Levin through Samantha Davis, Levin's partner and UMBC director of alumni relations -- have established an endowed scholarship fund through The University of Maryland Foundation, Inc., in his memory. The Paul Levin Memorial Scholarship Fund will provide an annual scholarship for an undergraduate UMBC music student who is pursuing a certificate in music education.

Leslie Wilson, who currently serves as president of UMBC's Alumni Association, says that Paul was "unique" and "unforgettable": "Paul cared about his friends very much. He interacted with people on a spiritual level. He was so comfortable to be around and became part of your life very quickly. No one who knew him will forget him. Now through this scholarship, his spirit will live on in those he never met."

"Paul's education at UMBC led to his curiosity for and love of Ireland and its music," explains Davis. "This is such a fitting scholarship because music was truly Paul's love, and he passed that love on by playing music and teaching children."

"If Paul had lived, he would have continued to make sure children are exposed to music. We want him to still have the chance to make that impact," Wilson adds.

Members of the campus community who wish to contribute to the Paul Levin Memorial Scholarship may do so through the UMBC Faculty/Staff Campaign. For more information contact Gary Rupert at (410) 455-2124.

Photograph of Paul Levin by Cathey Allison

Posted by dwinds1 at November 6, 2002 12:00 AM