The Levin Family Expands Student-Focused Funds to Support Columbia Students

The Levin Family ColumbiaFrom Left to Right: Matthew Levin ’20, Dr. Kwang-Wu Kim, Daniel Levin ’23, Heidi Levin, and Steven Levin
As founding members of the Family Advisory Council, Heidi and Steven Levin have made a generous gift to Columbia College Chicago to deepen the impact of the Levin Family Fund.

Heidi and Steven Levin, parents of Columbia graduates Matthew Levin ’20 and Daniel Levin ’23, have generously expanded their family’s contributions benefiting current and future students at Columbia. In 2019, the family established the Levin Family Scholarship Fund and have since created additional funds to support students with financial need and give students with disabilities equal access to Columbia’s educational and co-curricular opportunities.  

Thanks to Heidi and Steven’s generous support, the Levin Family Scholarship Fund will continue to ease financial barriers for juniors and seniors persisting to graduation. The three additional Levin Family Funds include the Internship Fund, which provides support to students completing unpaid internships for academic credit; the Inclusivity and Wellness Fund, which helps students access resources for students with learning disabilities and mental health needs; and the Cinema and Television Arts (CTVA) Production Fund, which gives CTVA students access to new technology, production equipment and training. 

Heidi and Steven call their donations “barrier busters” for Columbia students seeking financial and accommodation support. Recipients of the internship fund may be awarded up to $2,500 per student and will have three application cycles in the fall, spring and summer. The fund's goal is to provide a pathway for students to gain professional experience and position themselves for lifelong career success.  

“When you’re given an opportunity to expand your skills by real-world learning, that is so important. But if you can’t take it because it’s unpaid, this [internship fund] is a way of not letting that be a factor,” Heidi says. “You can get that real-world experience regardless of whether the internship is paid or unpaid.” 

Their generosity stems from seeing their sons thrive at Columbia in the Creative Writing and Cinema and Television Arts programs. Daniel and Matthew gravitated toward the performing arts from an early age, often taking lead roles in youth community theatre. Despite having to overcome challenges with learning differences in high school, college was a turning point for both sons. Their affinity for the arts provided a natural pathway to Columbia, where Daniel and Matthew had access to resources and support that weren’t available in other school systems. 

“One of the defining moments was when Daniel got connected with the Services for Students With Disabilities Department at the beginning of his experience at Columbia,” Heidi says. “They worked with him to get accommodations to enable him to really succeed.” 

The Levin Family Inclusivity and Wellness Fund will provide additional services and resources such as testing accommodations, notetaking, interpreting services and alternative format materials for students with learning disabilities. 

“The fact that in college he [Daniel] was able to achieve and really move through those obstacles is a testament to the Services for Students With Disabilities department being a huge part of Daniel’s success,” Heidi says. 

"We want to give that opportunity to other students as part of this fund,” Steven adds. 

In honor of the Levin family’s commitment to student success, Columbia will name an area on the third Floor of the Student Center, the Levin Family Lounge, after the Levin Family. 

“Heidi and Steven’s extraordinary commitment to Columbia is deeply meaningful to the college community. From the very beginning, they have championed our mission as a college for creatives in every way. It is our honor to acknowledge their family’s generosity by hosting future generations of students and families in the Levin Family Lounge,” says Dr. Kwang-Wu Kim President and CEO. 

The Levin Family

The Levin Family Internship application will open to students on Monday, June 3, 2024. More information on the Levin Family Internship Fund will be available on Columbia College Chicago’s Internal Scholarships page.