A Butler University alumnus has awarded a $5 million gift to support the sciences. The university says the gift from Frank Levinson will be used to help transform its science teaching and laboratory spaces, which will be designed to complement those of companies throughout the world.

Butler says the new facilities will allow the university to better collaborate with science and health and life science companies and provide talent to the work force. They will also help prepare students for graduate and post-professional programs.

Levinson, a 1975 graduate of Butler, has made several previous gifts to the university, including one in 2007 that allowed Butler to establish a partnership with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and also participate in the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy. The gift also supported the purchase of Butler’s first supercomputer.

"Frank has been a loyal and generous alumnus for many years, as well as a visionary who works to make our world better," said Butler President James Danko. "His financial support has made a transformational impact on the sciences at Butler and will continue to help us enhance Butler’s commitment to developing critical thinkers who will go on to make contributions to Indianapolis, the region, and the world."

Levinson is the managing director of Small World Group, an early stage fund and incubator focused on companies or research efforts based around "clean tech." He is also a co-founder of California-based venture capital firm Phoenix Venture Partners.

Levinson’s family also has a history in the sciences at Butler. His father, Alan Levinson, helped install and align the telescope at Holcomb Observatory while he was pursuing a Master’s degree in education.

"I have been so grateful for all the things that a Butler education has done for so many members of my family," Levinson said. "Over many years, my family has seen how valuable and recognized this education has been. Looking forward, I know it takes a big commitment to stay on the cutting edge of the sciences. This gift aims to help keep this commitment high for many years to come."