Larry Leavitt was an imposing man whose countenance suggested the granite of New Hampshire. His features defined a man of unwavering principle who devoted his life to serving others.
When family and friends gathered in Rollins Chapel at Dartmouth in early December to celebrate the life of Laurence G. Leavitt '25, who died at age 97 on Nov. 30, he was remembered as:
"...a man who lived his life in service to others," said Michael Choukas Jr. '51, who succeeded Leavitt as headmaster at Vermont Academy. "In the 'doing,' he would inspire others to aspire to his level."
"...a man of character from the old school," said Margaret McNally, his granddaughter. "At Vermont Academy and at their home on Main Street in Norwich (Vermont), theirs was the house with no key." Leavitt was predeceased by his wife of 67 years, Dorothy, in 1993.
"When I came to Dartmouth, the Leavitts were the first people to welcome me with a dinner invitation," said Chris Wielgus, coach of Dartmouth women's basketball.
At Dartmouth, Leavitt was the starting fullback on teams that built a record of 21-4-1 from 1922-24, setting the stage for the undefeated national championship team in 1925. As a senior, he won the Barrett Cup for overall achievement.
In 1934, at the recommendation of Dartmouth's president, Ernest Martin Hopkins, Leavitt became headmaster at Vermont Academy when the school was on the brink of bankruptcy. During his 25-year tenure, he doubled enrollment, retired the school's debt, directed many major improvements to the school's physical plant and became a sustaining spiritual force for the school that thrives today.
In retirement, among numerous activities on behalf of Dartmouth, Leavitt served for 20 years, until the early 1980s, as coordinator of the Sponsor Program for Big Green athletics. The Leavitts established awards in field hockey and women's basketball. Their gift also helped to create Dartmouth football's Bennett/Hall Lounge.
Said Choukas at the memorial service, "For 57 years, Larry was a mentor and friend. There was only dignity in all that he and Dorothy undertook." (Jack DeGange)