Graduate School

Remembering Linda Levine

Posted by Nick Gray on January 25, 2013

Linda LevineIt is with great sadness that Bank Street shares news of the loss of Linda Levine (GSE ’76), who passed away on January 22, 2013.

Linda, an educational anthropologist and longtime member of Bank Street’s Graduate School faculty, dedicated her life to advancing equity and social justice through education. 

Linda co-founded and served as the first director of the Urban Education Semester, which brought students from Brown, Vassar, and other undergraduate programs to Bank Street to learn firsthand about issues facing high-needs schools. A member of the Occasional Papers editorial board, in 2010 she contributed a piece for which she interviewed faculty member Pam Jones exploring ways to foster and sustain commitment to urban teaching in young educators. 

At Bank Street, Linda served as Chair of Teacher Education, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Interim Co-Dean of the Graduate School. As a Graduate School faculty member she taught a variety of courses in several programs. She mentored many, many graduate students and was a beloved colleague of the faculty. Linda always encouraged new teachers to seek a broader cultural competence and a higher level of professional preparation to become truly effective educators. 

In 2004, she received the BSCAA Distinguished Service Award in honor of her years of service to Bank Street and its alumni, and of her demonstrated commitment to furthering the beliefs and practices of the College. 

Linda once remarked that her decision to come to Bank Street and embark on a career in education was a choice prompted by her commitment to social justice.

“I applied for a masters degree in the early 70's, knowing little about progressive education. I'd worked at the American Civil Liberties Union and believed fervently in every child's right to a quality education. But I knew I lacked the knowledge and skills to help make that happen. When I asked for advice, what I heard most often was, 'Go to Bank Street!'”

Over the last several years, Linda became an ardent supporter of the Lucy Sprague Mitchell Society, honoring donors who commit to remembering Bank Street in their will. As a final gesture to what she called her “professional home,” her gift will provide scholarship support for Bank Street graduate students of color who intend to teach in under-resourced urban schools.

Jon Snyder, Bank Street’s Dean of the College, who worked with Linda for many years, mourned the loss of his dear friend. 

“We will miss Linda more than words can describe,” he said. “Her passing will create a void in all of those thousands of people whose lives she touched.”