Contact:	Suzanne Trimel					For immediate release
		(212) 854-5573					October 28, 1997
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Ruth Levenson, Columbia University Administrator, 68

Ruth A. Levenson, a retired administrator at Columbia University who was highly regarded for her work on environmental and health projects, died October 18 in Pittsburgh, Pa. She was 68. The cause was cancer, according to Nell Schaenen of Pittsburgh, a friend for many years. Ms. Levenson joined Columbia in 1982 as an associate provost for special projects under then-Provost Robert Goldberger. She coordinated academic programs related to the Center for Human Rights, the University Seminars, the Trilling Seminars and the Society of Fellows. Trained as a registered nurse, she had wide-ranging expertise in environmental and health issues, including drug abuse, and worked on University projects in that area. Fluent in four languages, she was appointed director of the Center for the Study of Global Habitability in 1983. As an administrator she worked closely with scientists and policymakers on seminars and other projects. In 1991, she became associate director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities, where she administered seminars, programs and research for senior faculty. She retired from the University in 1993. "Ruth had many, many talents, all of which she unselfishly devoted to others," said Dr. Goldberger, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biophy. "She was a Renaissance woman." Born in Beaver Falls, Pa., she was educated in local schools and was an accomplished pianist and singer who began her professional life after high school as assistant to the director of the Pittsburgh Opera. She came to New York in the 1950's and established herself as a voice coach. Later, she trained as a nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital, and studied midwifery in Switzerland and tropical diseases in Israel. She had intended to work with Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Africa but poor health forced her to give up her plan. After several years in Washington as a drug abuse specialist for the government, she returned to New York, where she was a nurse and drug abuse expert at the Dalton School during the 1970's. She is survived by several nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at a future date at Columbia. 10.24.97 19,208