By Alicia Cook
Since arriving at Bloomfield College, College President, Richard A. Levao and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, William H. Turner III, have established their leadership in many ways, including embracing and encouraging the importance of philanthropy for the College's future.
For many donors, the most realistic way to make a significant gift to Bloomfield College is through their estates. Levao and Turner have quietly made the selfless pledge to bestow nearly $1.5 million dollars combined to the College.
"This seven-figure investment from the leadership of Bloomfield College speaks volumes to the level of commitment both these dignified leaders have made to the College, its students, and its mission," said Jackie Bartley, Vice President for Institutional Advancement. "As we near the College's 150th anniversary, I have no doubt the legacy they are leaving behind will continue to positively impact the College for the next 150 years."
Levao and Turner, both alumni of other institutions, believe in the charge of Bloomfield College and its students. Since 1868, the institution has been dedicated to supporting the underrepresented youth of New Jersey, and beyond, in acquiring skills, fortitude, and services needed to access and succeed in college.
"Many years ago, my wife, Judy, and I made a commitment to put a percentage of our income toward our philanthropic interests," said William H. Turner. "Bloomfield College is an extraordinary place that transforms lives, which is why Judy and I consider this a very significant philanthropic endeavor."
William H. Turner III
Turner has had successful careers in both Banking and Education. For over 34 years, he served in many capacities with Chase Bank and its predecessor, Chemical Bank, including Senior Vice President of the International Division-Middle East & Africa, Chief Administrative Officer of the Corporate Banking Division, Executive Vice President and head of the Retail Banking Division, and Vice Chairman and Director of the Corporation. He later assumed the position of Vice Chairman of Chase. He served as President and Co-CEO of Franklin Electronic Publishers, and President and CEO of PNC Bank. He also formerly served as Senior Advisor for Opera Solutions.
After retiring from banking, Turner was the Founding Dean of the College of Business at Stony Brook University and later assumed the role of Acting Dean of the Business School at Montclair State University. In addition, for over 35 years, he has served on the board of International College of Beirut, including the role of Chairman for the past 30 years. On the education front, Turner served as Adjunct Professor in numerous institutions.
Active in his community, Turner serves on the boards of Standard Motor Products, FineMark National Bank & Trust, and Columbia Thread Needle Investments. He has also served as Chairman of the Atlantic Health System, Chairman of New Jersey Network, and President of the Montclair Art Museum, as well as a Councilman in Montclair, NJ. In the business world, he served as Director of the following NYSE companies: Franklin Electronic Publishers, Inc., Standard Motor Products, Inc., Volt Information Sciences, Inc., New Jersey Resources, Inc., Ameriprise Financial, Inc., Chemical Bank, and the Grow Group.
Turner joined the Bloomfield College Board of Trustees in 2011 and was elected Chair in 2015. He was designated Chair because of his devotion to the College as well as his adoration for the students.
Richard A. Levao
Richard A. Levao has served as President of Bloomfield College for the last 13 years. He is a fixture on campus, attending many student and faculty run events, including the students' Capstone presentations at the end of each spring semester. He is front row center at many a function, always smiling and knowing most of the community, students included, by name. He is dedicated to bettering the lives of all who enroll at the College.
Levao currently serves as Chair of the New Jersey Presidents' Council. He is also a member of the Executive Board of the World Technopolis Association, an affiliate of UNESCO, located in Daejon, South Korea.
Before coming to the College, he practiced law for 29 years and was a partner at the national law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP. Active in community affairs and New Jersey higher education, Levao served 25 years as a member of the Rutgers University Board of Trustees and Board of Governors, including three years as Chair of the Board of Trustees and two years as Chair of the Board of Governors. He has also served as an adjunct member of the faculties of The Cornell Law School, Rutgers University, and Bloomfield College.
Previously, he served as Chair of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and as a member of the Scholarship Selection Committee of the New Jersey Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
He has served on the New Jersey State Opera Board and the Mountainside Health Foundation Board. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the Executive Committees of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the New Jersey Council on the Humanities, the state's affiliate to the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Bloomfield College is on the cutting edge of innovation in higher education, offering over 60 majors and concentrations in seven academic divisions. The College is ranked as one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Bloomfield College is a unique institution offering students access to a private, affordable college education. About 52% of students are African American and 27.5% of students are Hispanic. Bloomfield College is a wonderful institution where bold and courageous students from all corners of the globe find success they might not have otherwise achieved.
With the College in the midst of a Capital Campaign, both gifts from these honorable front runners demonstrate tangible philanthropic leadership.