The memories Douglas G. G. Levick III ’58 holds of Princeton are an accumulation of moments: riding his bicycle across campus on his way to and from school as a seventh and eighth grader, pausing sometimes to watch sports practices; spending afternoons in engineering labs and evenings in Firestone Library, where he commandeered a study carrel (supposedly for seniors only, but he learned how to jimmy the door of one, to open it with a spoon); reveling in hard fought victories in hockey and lacrosse (where he earned first team All-American honors two years).
From those moments an enduring affection swells for his alma mater. “The impact of Princeton on me was enormous—first from the first-class education I got,” he says. “Then from the friends — roommates, clubmates, teammates, and those with my same academic major — I was lucky to have. So many remain good friends. Many also were valuable connections throughout my life.”
His sense of connection and gratitude prompted Levick to make an Annual Giving Legacy gift for his class’s 60th Reunion to support ’58’s Annual Giving endowment fund. He also has established a charitable remainder annuity trust that will ultimately benefit Princeton.
“I know that the cost of a Princeton education is about twice as much as what the stated tuition is. Somebody paid half of my schooling and now I want to do the same for another student,” he says of his motivation for joining the 1746 Society, whose members have included the University in their estate plans.
Service Underlines His Life
Levick took to heart his father’s advice — who was also a Princeton alumnus — to pursue engineering, and signed up for Navy ROTC where he spent two years on active duty. Much of that time he spent commanding the 75 people in the Engineering Department on a Navy destroyer escort in the Pacific. Stateside, Levick added a Harvard MBA to his credits and spent a career putting both degrees to work at the IBM World Trade Corporation, as CFO of four technology companies, and as an entrepreneur with two start-up technology companies.
He kept his Princeton tie strong as an Annual Giving class agent and Special Gifts Committee member, and continues to serve on the Alumni Schools Committee. Almost all the students he has interviewed in recent years have asked if Princeton offers opportunities to do community service or work with a nonprofit while in college. “I never would have thought of that in my day,” he says. “I applaud that.”
But Levick has done his share of community outreach: he coached high school lacrosse for about 10 years, and found he enjoyed working with teens — which led to volunteer efforts for several other nonprofits serving youth of various ages, including starting Outward Bound California.
While he does not remember hearing a specific call to service at Princeton, he always knew that ethos was there: “It’s in the Princeton spirit to be engaged, to do something to make the world better,” he says. “This spirit has compelled me to devote the last 18 years of my life to serving nonprofit organizations.”
Hats Off — and On
Levick’s favorite hangout at Princeton was the Ivy Club, where his roommates also were members, and where he was enjoying an after-lunch conversation one day that led to being featured in “Sports Illustrated.” He recalls the magazine writer approaching him and his friends with a collection of different hats to model. His was a rakish raffia Tyrolean topper, described in print as having “a jaunty straw broom.” “It was obviously a promotion, for twenty minutes later all the hats were collected and it was over,” Levick recalls now. “I don’t think I ever wore hats except to keep warm.” Except, of course, a hockey and lacrosse helmet and as a naval officer.
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