Marlene Levine, director of the University of St. Thomas’ Daniel C. Gainey Conference Center in Owatonna, has resigned effective Aug. 12 and will be replaced on an interim basis by Dennis Benjamin, operations manager at Gainey.

Marlene Levine

Levine will become executive director of University Center in downtown Chicago. The center provides housing for more than 1,700 students and is within walking distance of the campuses of Columbia College, DePaul University, Robert Morris University and Roosevelt University.

Levine has worked at St. Thomas for 26 years and is the only university staff member ever to hold positions on all four campuses. Her previous positions were director of postal services in St. Paul (1985-1987), marketing manager and then associate director in Minneapolis (1987-1996), Gainey director (1996-1999 and since 2001) and director of the Bernardi campus in Rome (1999-2001).

“Marlene has been successful during her years at St. Thomas and it will be hard to see her leave,” said Mark Vangsgard, vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer. “She has an exciting new opportunity that she is well prepared for, and we wish her the best.”

Dennis Benjamin

Dennis Benjamin

Benjamin joined the conference services staff at Gainey in 1988 and became operations manager three years ago. He describes himself as an employee who does “a little bit of everything – set up for meetings, maintenance, plumbing, wiring … anything they need, I do.”

Vangsgard said a search will be conducted in the near future for a permanent director.

The Gainey staff will hold a farewell reception for Levine the evening of Friday, Aug. 12, at Gainey.

The conference center opened in 1982 on the estate of the late Daniel C. Gainey. A respected businessman with a commitment to education, Gainey designated that his estate be developed into an educational center as a legacy to his love for learning.