MSU Law Honors Legacy of The Honorable Carl Levin, Former U.S. Senator and Kelley Institute Lecturer

Senator Carl Levin at the College of Law for the Kelley Lecture in 2013. Left to right: Attorney General Frank Kelley, MSU Trustee Renee Knake-Jefferson, former Professor Hannah Brenner, former Dean Joan Howarth, and Senator Carl Levin.

Michigan State University College of Law joins the Michigan legal and political communities in mourning the death of The Honorable U.S. Senator Carl Levin, former United States Senator.

Senator Levin served six consecutive terms in the Senate, from 1979 to 2015. He chaired the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. In the course of this work, he earned a reputation for demanding accountability from the nation’s most powerful CEOs and politicians. The New York Times posthumously described him as a “paragon of probity” in his role as Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for his “unquenchable zeal for grilling high-profile witnesses at public hearings.” He also co-chaired the Senate Great Lakes Task Force.

Senator Levin visited the College of Law in 2013 as the featured speaker for the Frank J. Kelley Institute of Ethics. Attorney General Kelley endowed that Institute to bring a leading legal thinker to the College of Law every year to offer a public lecture, teach students and engage with faculty. High impact speakers such as Senator Levin encourage soon-to-be lawyers to ground their future legal practice in a foundation of ethics. Senator Levin lectured masterfully on the ends and means of political tactics. He also shared memories of his early career when he worked in the Michigan Attorney General’s Office under the leadership of the Institute’s namesake, the storied Attorney General Frank Kelley.

Senator Carl Levin and Attorney General Frank Kelley chat in the College of Law atrium following the 2013 Kelley Lecture.

“I had the opportunity to see him in action on the floor of the United State Senate. He was not only a skilled strategist and tactician, but a respected one as well. Senator Levin’s six decades of service demonstrated his unswerving commitment to the diverse communities of Michigan,” said Dean and MSU Foundation Professor of Law Linda Sheryl Greene.

“His career inspired generations of young lawyers to lead – and to serve. He will always remain a role model for us.”