Kenneth Leventhal, a USC life trustee and namesake of the USC Elaine and Kenneth Leventhal School of Accounting, died Tuesday morning in Los Angeles. He was 90.
Though Leventhal graduated with a bachelor of science in business administration and accounting from UCLA, he dedicated much of his professional life to USC. After becoming a certified public accountant in 1948, Leventhal taught accounting part-time at USC.
Leventhal served on the Board of Trustees since 1977. His tenure as a trustee spanned stints on the executive, finance, development, audit and personnel committees. He was also chairman emeritus of the Ernst & Young Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group and a driving force in two of USC’s fundraising campaigns.
In addition to participating on the donor financial planning committee for USC’s $309 million Toward Century II fundraising campaign, Leventhal spearheaded the Building on Excellence campaign in 1993.
Leventhal and his wife Elaine’s $15-million naming gift to the Leventhal School of Accounting, as part of the campaign, was the largest given to an accounting program at that time.
He received the Presidential Medallion in 2004 for his service to the university and the honorary doctor of humane letters degree in 2000.
“He was a gifted businessman, as well as a passionate Trojan. … His legacy is both extraordinary and assured, having enriched the lives of everyone at USC,” President C. L. Max Nikias said in a statement.
Leventhal is survived by his wife of 63 years, Elaine; his brother Henley; his son Ross and daughter-in-law Mary Jo; his son Robert; and his one granddaughter, Emma.