Lucas Levine '15, an International Studies graduate from Lafayette, Calif., has been named a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University, where he will pursue a master’s degree in business administration at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business this fall.

Considered one of the world’s most coveted and prestigious graduate scholarships, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program invites exceptional students and promising young leaders from around the globe to study in the discipline of their choice at any of Stanford’s graduate programs. The scholarship was established in 2016 through a gift from Stanford alumnus Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike, Inc., and other benefactors, and is named for Knight and former Stanford President John Hennessy. It is the largest fully endowed graduate fellowship in the world, and provides full tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and a stipend for approximately 100 scholars each year.

The 2020 cohort features 76 scholars from 26 countries selected from a pool of 6,171 applicants. 

Lucas Levine

Lucas Levine

Levine, who has worked for the past three years at the African School network Nova Pioneer in Johannesburg, South Africa, said he aspires to a career in global service, leading organizations across the private and public sectors that are focused on unlocking human potential, empowering local leaders, and bridging the economic gap for underserved people worldwide.

”I'm unbelievably humbled by my selection as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, and excited to seize the opportunity and to do BC proud,” said Levine.  “The scholarship frees me up to enter the experience more selflessly, enabling me to think about how I can use this opportunity to pay back my privilege and create opportunity for others.

“There's an obvious through-line from BC, grounded as it is in the liberal arts and a spirit of service, to a program like Knight-Hennessy. Both aspire to produce well-rounded servant leaders. BC encouraged me to engage with a wide range of disciplines, perspectives, and peoples, guided by amazing professors and alongside inspiring classmates. I couldn't be more grateful for the academic and personal foundation that BC provided and confident that it prepared me for what lies ahead.”

Levine cites many outstanding professors in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences whose influence helped him to find his calling in the field of international relations, including Ken Kersch and Peter Krause in political science, and Susan Michalczyk in the Morrissey College Honors program, whom he cites as a mentor and friend.

“I’ve known Lucas since the start of his sophomore year when he was a student in my Honors Program seminar,” said Michalczyk.  “He was A-plus then, as a young scholar and gentleman, remains A-plus in all he does, and no doubt will excel in his graduate studies at Stanford, as he continues to focus on thoughtful innovation and education to improve the lives of future generations.

“Lucas has followed an interdisciplinary approach in his academic, professional, and personal life, building upon his undergraduate studies and looking for connections so as to better understand himself and others. He is intelligent, mature, compassionate, self-aware, and humble. He is other-centered, not self-centered–a very rare quality–and one more reason that he deserves this honor as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford.”

Added Morrissey College Dean Gregory Kalscheur, S.J., “At Boston College we aspire to help our students become well-educated, whole people of solidarity ready to take responsibility in the world and well prepared to lead lives oriented toward service of the common good. Lucas embodies that ideal, and we are proud that his outstanding academic achievement and commitment to service have been recognized through Stanford's selection of him for this prestigious graduate fellowship."

There's an obvious through-line from BC, grounded as it is in the liberal arts and a spirit of service, to a program like Knight-Hennessy. Both aspire to produce well-rounded servant leaders. BC encouraged me to engage with a wide range of disciplines, perspectives, and peoples, guided by amazing professors and alongside inspiring classmates. I couldn't be more grateful for the academic and personal foundation that BC provided and confident that it prepared me for what lies ahead.
Boston College alumnus, Knight-Hennessy Scholar Lucas Levine

Upon graduating from Boston College, Levine worked as a management consultant for Deloitte and served on the local leadership team of pro-bono consulting firm Inspire, Inc., managing project teams and leading client development for the Greater Boston area, before joining Nova Pioneer in 2017. The fast-growing social enterprise operates 13 innovative schools across Africa and has more than doubled in size during his three years there. His experience in South Africa–helping to develop through education innovators and leaders who will shape the African continent–instilled in him a desire to provide true opportunity to those on the margins.

“After completing my M.B.A. at Stanford, I want to help unlock human potential in places where it is suppressed—by political or socioeconomic constraints, or other conditions that prevent people from thriving,” said Levine. “The COVID-19 pandemic has both exposed and deepened some of these inequities, and I feel eager to do what little I can to help our country and world rebuild even stronger. It's a great time to serve.”


Jack Dunn | University Communications | May 2020