Longtime Bakersfield philanthropist Dr. Norman Levan dies

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Dr. Norman Levan, a longtime dermatologist who donated millions of dollars to Bakersfield College, died Sunday at the age of 98, according to a BC news release.

Levan, who spent 73 years as a dermatologist, 55 of those years in Bakersfield, saw his health declining in recent months, the release said.

An educational philanthropist, Levan most recently donated $14 million to BC in 2011, in addition to $5.7 million in 2006, adding to up to the largest overall donation in the school's history.

"His scholarship endowment at the Bakersfield College Foundation was a huge investment, not only in BC, but in Bakersfield and Kern County, as well," said Mike Stepanovich, executive director of the Bakersfield College Foundation.

Levan also donated millions of dollars to St. John's College in New Mexico, as well as the University of Southern California, his alma mater.

Levan died at his home, surrounded by longtime colleagues and friends.

A memorial service will be held at the lawn north of the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities at Bakersfield College at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 28.

Levan will be interred at the National Cemetery in Arvin.