Professor Oscar Levy, Z"L
Professor Oscar Levy, Z"L, served as the first president of SCE, between the years 1995-2005. He was one of Israel's senior researchers in the field of chemistry, and was very active in the advancement of higher education throughout the Negev region.
Born in Romania, Prof. Levy received his bachelor's degree from the University of Cluj, and both his master's degree and doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Following the completion of his academic studies, he established the chemistry department at Ben Gurion University in the Negev, and was one of the founders of the Technological College of Be'er Sheva.
The extensive knowledge base that he acquired throughout his studies and academic endeavors led him to positions outside of the academic world, including roles such as the National Inspector of Nuclear Professions, member of the Council of Engineering and Architecture, member of the Engineers Registrar Advisory Board and chairman of Forum 100 (a forum of nine academic institutes for engineering). Amongst his many roles and activities, Professor Levy was also the founder of the Mekif Chet high school, as well as a teacher and member of the Be'er Sheva City Council.
Professor Levy was a central figure in the development of the Negev, continuously working to enable improved access to higher education in the region. He was one of the significant founders who established the College for Engineering in 1995, which started with a total of 100 students. Today, the college has over 5,000 enrolled students, most of which are from the southern periphery of the country. This astounding increase in student numbers, as well as the fact that they are largely from the surrounding area, is a testament to his success in the advancement and improved accessibility of higher education in the Negev. In 2005, Professor Levy died of a serious illness, leaving behind his wife and two children. He was 65. SCE honors his memory with reverence.