Robert and Diane Levy donate $5 million for undergraduate internship stipends

Undergraduate students will be able to apply for the university funds to cover expenses incurred during internships.

Garland Hall, as photographed on Aug. 2, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Miguel Beristain)

Miguel Beristain

Garland Hall, as photographed on Aug. 2, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Miguel Beristain)

Ilana Drake and Sally Johnson

Vanderbilt announced that the university has received a $5 million gift from Robert Levy, BA ’72, and his wife, Diane Levy, to be used for the creation of a fund that provides undergraduate internship stipends. Additionally, the Levys’ gift includes a match component to encourage other donations.

“Diane and I are firm believers in the importance of internships for helping young people gain maturity and to provide guidance on a possible career path,” Levy said in a Sept. 20 press release.

Robert Levy serves on the Board of Trustees and was previously a member of the College of Arts and Science’s Board of Visitors. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt in 1972 and is a retired chairman of Harris Associates LP. In 1997, the Levy family contributed to the inaugural funding for Opportunity Vanderbilt, a need-based scholarship that meets 100% of students’ demonstrated financial need. The Levy family donated an additional $10 million in 2017 to this scholarship fund. 

Chancellor Diermeier spoke about the Levys’ impact on Vanderbilt in the Sept. 20 press release. 

“The Levys’ longtime engagement in Vanderbilt’s transformative financial aid program has expanded many students’ access to a world-class education, and their gift will significantly enhance the experiential and research elements of an undergraduate education,” Diermeier said. 

Sophomore Zacarias Negron said he expects the Levys’ donation to be a useful resource for undergraduate students who rely on stipends when taking unpaid internships.

“I recently had to turn down an incredible internship because it was unpaid, and I would have been unable to justify taking it in light of financial need,” Negron said in a message to The Hustler. “As such I would prefer paid internships, and am encouraged that we may have even more resources available in the near future.”