Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date



Robert Barry Levis came to Rollins College in 1968 as a professor of history. For nearly forty years, Levis has served the college as an active member of the faculty while continuing to mentor students and pursue academic research and publication.

Levis was born on August 18, 1942, in Abington, Pennsylvania. He studied at Pennsylvania State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in General Science in 1964. He also received his M.A. in history in 1966 and his Ph.D. in history in 1971 from Pennsylvania State University.

Having joined the Rollins College faculty in 1968, Levis has not only taught courses in history, but also found time to publish articles and serve in leadership positions at Rollins College. He specializes in British History and Early Modern European History, and over the years he has taught courses in topics such as Europe and the Age of Reason and Passion, Family Values?, and Religion and Western Culture. Levis served as the President of the Faculty (from 1976 to 1978 and from 2001 to 2003), head of the Department of History, Faculty Chairman of Freshmen Studies, Chairman of the Social Science Interdisciplinary Course, and Chairman of the Curriculum Committee. In 1987, Levis co-founded the Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) Program at Rollins. Since 1994, Levis has been the editor of the Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies.

Throughout his Rollins career, Levis has been recognized as an Arthur Vining Davis Fellow (1986), a recipient of the National Faculty Award of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies (AGLSP) (1999), and a member of the Historical Honorary Society Phi Alpha Theta. He is also a member of the American Historical Association and the Sigma Phi Epsilon Social Fraternity.

Levis1.mp3 (3814 kB)
Levis discusses some of his teaching approaches

Levis2.mp3 (2789 kB)
Levis discusses his first impression of the college, the campus, the students

Levis3.mp3 (2260 kB)
Levis discusses books that influenced his life

Levis4.mp3 (2765 kB)
Levis discusses some memorable classroom experiences

Levis5.mp3 (2299 kB)
Levis discusses the sixties and seventies at Rollins