Levys’ legacy lives on: Two Burrillville seniors awarded $30,000 in scholarships


BURRILLVILLE – From town buildings and structures to ongoing donations to universities and hospitals, the generosity of Austin T. and June Rockwell Levy has touched the lives of many, not just in Burrillville, but the state of Rhode Island.

And that legacy continued this month, with the announcement of scholarships totaling $60,000 for two graduating Burrillville seniors.

Class of 2020 grads Elizabeth Charpentier and Michael Giguere are this year’s recipients of the Levy Memorial Scholarship, and will receive $7,500 for all four years attending the University of Rhode Island.

“While Mr. and Mrs. Levy were alive, none of their charitable deeds bore their name. They felt that service was its own reward,” said BHS Director of Guidance Peter Berthelette in announcing the award during a virtual ceremony on released Monday, June 1. “This scholarship does bear their name, and we believe they would be most proud to have their name on it due to the outstanding quality of the scholars represented here.”

During her high school career, Charpentier was the president of the Burrillville High School chapter of the National Honor Society, and served as a member of the Book Club, the Creative Writing Club, librarian of the Select Choir, prop manager of the spring play, and founder and president of the Meme Club.

“Whether helping to raise money for the local fire department, celebrating the academic success of BHS students, assisting as a children’s helper, picking up trash on the road, collecting water samples, or distributing dog rabies collar tags, Elizabeth consistently recognizes the needs of others,” noted a student spotlight published by school officials. “She is an optimistic and caring young woman who will lend a helping hand to anyone.”

Giguere participated in the PLTW Engineering curriculum as a student at BHS and was a peer tutor. He volunteered time speaking with middle school students about STEM experiences at BHS, working with the elderly at local nursing homes, and coaching the Burrillville Patriots football team.

An honor roll student and vice president of the school’s weightlifting club, Giguere also won an outstanding student award for Rhode Island and Burrillville history.

“We are so honored that he won such an incredible scholarship,” noted proud mom Allyson Dupre.

Giguere will study civil engineering at URI this fall.

The Levy Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to URI students from an endowment on the basis of financial need, with preference given to BHS graduates.

Now in its 21st year, the June Rockwell Levy Foundation has awarded more than $1.2 million to Burrillville graduates.

Austin T. Levy was a mill owner and philanthropist in town known for his forward-thinking and generous treatment of his employees. His wife June was an artist who served in leadership roles in organizations including the Burrillville-Glocester District Nursing Association, the Lincoln School, the Providence Art Club’s Ladies Board, and the Providence Garden Club.

The June Rockwell Levy Foundation was created in her honor by her husband in 1947.

“This remarkable couple did wonderful things for many people during their lives and, through the June Rockwell Levy Foundation, will continue to do so in perpetuity,” noted a write-up on the Levys’ grant program by The Rhode Island Foundation

In Burrillville, the Levys built the Callahan School, the Pascoag Post office, the Assembly Theatre, the Burrillville Town Hall, the original Jesse M. Smith Library, the Harrisville courtyard, the Bridgeway in Pascoag, the WellOne Center, the Austin T. Levy School and the Levy Rink.

“All of these were donated to the people of Burrillville by Austin T. and June Rockwell Levy,” Berthelette said. “The legacy of Austin T. and June Rockwell Levy is alive and well in the town of Burrillville.”

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