PENSACOLA, Fla. — Greek legend has it that the Argonauts went on a perilous journey to find the fabled golden fleece of immense wealth, according to Britannica.com.
In late January, the University of West Florida Argonauts received some wealth of their own, and without a hazardous trek having to be made.
Attorney Fredric G. Levin of the law firm Levin Papantonio donated $100,000 to the university’s year-old football program on Jan. 26, according to a report by the Pensacola News Journal.
It was not Levin’s first act of philanthropy.
Just before the dawning of the millennium, Levin founded the Fredric G. Levin College of Law at the University of Florida by contributing $10 million to its creation, the largest donation ever to a public institution. Following that, Levin honored the memory of his father with the creation of an endowed professorship at the University of West Florida that is reportedly now worth $400,000.
Levin is considered a nationally-renowned leading trial attorney, the News Journal reported, and has been recognized internationally for his humanitarian counseling. Levin was instrumental in the rewriting of the state’s Florida Medicaid Third Party Recovery Act, which opened the door for the state to sue the tobacco industry over illnesses caused by the industry's products.
Levin spoke to the Florida Record about the motivation behind his generosity with UWF’s new football team.
“They’re just starting and I thought it would be a good thing,” he said.
The philanthropist was effusive with praise for the Argonauts.
“They got a great coach (Pete Shinnick), he’s a fine human being and I think it will work out. I think he’s having a good recruitment situation right now,” Levin said.
Levin was asked if he would continue with the contributions.
“I don’t know at this point,” Levin said the prominent attorney, but later on added, “I doubt if I will do anymore for the football program.”
Levin told the Florida Record that he had just agreed, days prior, to donating $550,000 for the establishment of the Reubin O'D. Askew Institute for Multi-Discipline Studies to be built on UWF, in honor of the former Florida governor and law-firm partner of Levin.
On Jan. 6, Levin was diagnosed with stage-four cancer after he suffered a seizure at his office, according to InWeekly.net. A brain tumor was removed, and it was determined that it was the result of lung cancer that had metastasized.
The ailment, however, has not slowed Levin down. When he spoke to the Florida Record, he was on the way to his Miami office to continue his work.
Along with Levin, Gooden Homes founder Darrell Gooden of Pensacola has also donated $100,000 to the UWF program, according to a news release by the school.