Remembering Theodore “Ted” Leverett ’49, G’50

July 27, 2015

Syracuse University played a large, important role in the life of Theodore W. Leverett ’49, G’50—known to his family and many friends as Ted. Leverett earned bachelor and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, which became the educational foundation for his successful career with IBM. While a student at SU, he worked as a graduate assistant in engineering and served for two years on the Hendricks Chapel board. It was at Syracuse that he met his future wife, music major Irene Elaine Engle ’49, and their marriage, which began in 1954, lasted until his death in November 2010. Despite busy professional and personal lives, the Leveretts maintained strong connections to their alma mater—Ted served as president of the Dutchess County SU alumni club, and both he and Irene met with potential students as pre-college counselors. Among their interests was one that combined Irene’s love of music with Ted’s penchant for engineering—collecting, and in many cases repairing, items that played a tune—from music boxes to musical toys, art, and instruments. For a number of years, Michael Mattson, Syracuse University’s executive director of gift planning, worked with the Leveretts on their plans to include SU as a beneficiary of their estate. “Every time I saw Ted and Irene, all they wanted to do was talk about what was happening on campus,” Mattson says. “For Ted, it was anything and everything about engineering, and Irene is interested in VPA. There isn’t a room in their house that doesn’t have something of SU in it—they really love the University.” So close were their ties to SU that at Ted’s death, Irene requested his ashes be laid to rest on campus. In light of Ted’s many years of devotion and support, it was a request the University was honored to grant. On December 17, 2014, a celebration of Ted’s life was held on Shaw Quad, with Hendricks Chapel Dean Tiffany Steinwert presiding. “For all that Ted has given us to make us what we are, for that of him which is rooted and grows in each of us, and for all that will live on through his legacy, here at Syracuse University, we give thanks,” Steinwert said. With those words, Ted’s ashes were given a final resting place outside Smith Hall, where he spent so many days as an engineering student.