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Cayvan, Llewellyn L. (1879-1966) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Cayvan, Llewellyn L. (1879-1966)

Historical Note: Food chemist and music enthusiast, Llewellyn L. (Leo) Cayvan was a generous benefactor to the Calvin College music department.  A native of Boston, Cayvan was born in 1879. Cayvan’s interest in music began at 4 years old when he began to play the violin. He played in the Boston Symphony Orchestra and later in life in the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra. He graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a food chemist. In 1900, Cayvan started his career in the baking business in Chicago. By 1925, Cayvan accepted a position at the Hekman Biscuit Company located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While living in Grand Rapids, Cayvan became interested in Calvin College’s music program. He became very involved with the music students, even holding Saturday afternoon chamber music sessions at his home. He also donated his instruments and his extensive collection of recordings and sheet music. His late wife, Alice, was also very fond of music playing the viola and timpani. Cayvan passed away in 1966, leaving behind his second wife, Winona.

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