ѨƵ Receives $1 Million Naming Gift for New Black Box Theater

August 24, 2023 7 AM

ѨƵ is pleased to announce a $1 million gift from the Herman and Walter Samuelson Foundation. The donation was made possible by the foundation’s trustees, Louis and Phyllis Friedman. The gift will support the construction of the university’s 225-seat black box theater inside the new Sandra and Malcolm Berman Family Performing Arts Center. In honor of the Samuelson Foundation’s generosity, the black box theater will be named the Herman and Walter Samuelson Foundation Theater.

The late Herman and Walter Samuelson were born in Baltimore and were fixtures of its business community. Both brothers attended high school at Baltimore City College and graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law. Herman cofounded the Jewish Convalescent Home and served on its Board of Directors for many years. He practiced law before joining Walter to operate a successful real estate business. Their legacy, the Samuelson Foundation, is administered by attorneys Louis and Phyllis Friedman of Friedman and Friedman, LLP in Towson. This is the Samuelson Foundation’s second gift to Stevenson. The previous gift, made in 2016, funds scholarships for Stevenson nursing students who will work at Sinai Hospital.

“Louis and Phyllis Friedman’s friendship and support have been instrumental to the growth of ѨƵ,” said Elliot Hirshman, President of Stevenson. “Our expanding campus and facilities—the Fine School for the Sciences, the new Philip A. Zaffere Library opening this fall, and, now, the Samuelson Foundation Black Box Theater within the Berman Family Performing Arts Center project—are a testament to their extraordinary efforts. On behalf of our entire community, I thank them for their continued commitment to Stevenson.”

Construction of the new Sandra and Malcolm Berman Family Performing Arts Center will begin in 2024. The facility will be located on the ѨƵ North campus academic hub, joining the Zaffere Library, Manning Academic Center, and the School of Design, Arts, and Communication. The Center will provide new venues for stage and musical productions as well as for fashion, dance, speakers, and other fine arts and cultural events. In addition to the Samuelson Foundation Theater, the Center will feature a music performance stage, the Bozzuto Family Box Office, scene shop, and support spaces. 

Learn more about and see architectural renderings of the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Family Performing Arts Center