The mission of the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities is to provide programs that focus on and foster a greater appreciation of the humanities, explore the relevance of the humanities to the practice of medicine, examine and support ethical behavior in business and the professions, recognize and encourage scholarship and intellectual exchange among faculty and students, and involve the Bakersfield community in examining the importance of the humanities in the lives of people.
Dr. Norman Levan is professor emeritus and former chief of dermatology at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, where he earned his medical degree in 1939. After serving in the Army Medical Corps during World War II, he began a long and distinguished career in medicine. He established the Hansen’s Disease Clinic for leprosy at the Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center in 1962 at the request of state and federal health officials. At the age of 90, Dr. Levan still sees patients in his Bakersfield medical practice. He now practices one day a week, seeing elderly or specialized patients.