Announced as “Breaking News” in the fall issue of Ventures, the new, state-of-the-art, 200-000-square-foot building that opened at the start of the fall semester officially has been named the Kevin J. Manning Academic Center. During the Aug. 30 opening of the Center, it also was announced that the University had received naming gifts for two of its Schools.
The naming of the Center honors Stevenson’s president, who will be retiring in June 2017 after 17 years of leading the institution.
“Kevin Manning is the visionary who took us from Villa Julie College to Stevenson University,” says James Stradtner, Esq., CFA, Chair of Stevenson’s Board of Trustees and Senior Advisor for Century Equity Partners. “It is only fitting that we name this signature building in recognition of all that he has accomplished.”
The first naming gift, from Malcolm and Sandy Berman, created the Sandra R. Berman School of Nursing and Health Professions, named in honor of her dedication to philanthropic work toward improving healthcare and education.
Married for nearly 60 years, the Bermans have shown their commitment for supporting a wide range of institutions and causes. Sandy Berman began her tenure on Stevenson’s Board of Trustees in 2013. She has worked to help ensure that the greater Baltimore community has a qualified pool of capable and well-trained nurses and healthcare professionals. One of these efforts was the establishment of an endowed fund at Stevenson to provide scholarships to nursing students. “
The nurses I’ve met at area hospitals I’m associated with who graduated from Stevenson are extremely compassionate and knowledgeable,” Sandy Berman says. “I can tell that they’re getting a great education. I took a few classes when the University was known as Villa Julie College, and to see how it has expanded through the years is remarkable.”
Malcolm Berman made the donation because of his wife’s involvement on the Board of Trustees and the University in general. “She loves her activities on the Board, and she’s actively involved with Stevenson because healthcare and education are important issues to her. I’m just so very proud of all that she does.”
The second gift, from the Beverly K. and Jerome M. Fine Foundation, under the direction of its trustees Louis and Phyllis Friedman, created the Beverly K. Fine School of the Sciences, also housed in the new Academic Center.
As trustees of the Beverly K. and Jerome M. Fine Foundation, the Friedmans decided that the opportunity to name the School of the Sciences in memory of Jerome Fine’s wife, Beverly, was the right decision for the philanthropic interests of both the Fines and the foundation.
“Opportunities like this rarely present themselves, and Phyllis and I were both delighted to be able to reflect the wishes of the Fines in naming the School of the Sciences for Beverly,” says Louis Friedman, Mr. Fine’s attorney for many years. The Fines lost their daughter, Diane, at an early age; she was an English professor and adjunct professor at Villa Julie College, which created the connection to Stevenson, says Phyllis Friedman.
“This was an incredible opportunity to memorialize Beverly by naming a school targeted to young people who will obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare them for jobs in our new workforce,” she adds. “This gift expresses in a most positive way Beverly’s concerns for society that the foundation and its mission reflect.”
The Friedmans, as Trustees of the Emmert Hobbs Foundation, have also committed funds for the naming of the Emmert Hobbs Foundation SoLVE Center at Stevenson. The SoLVE Center (Solutions for Learning in a Vibrant Environment) offers an innovative cooperative learning support program for students studying the sciences and nursing at Stevenson.
At the opening ceremony, Manning said, “This day has been a dual honor for me as president. The naming of the Academic Center is certainly humbling, but the generosity of the Bermans and the Fine Foundation also gives confirmation to the goals that we collectively set forth more than a decade ago: to complete our transformation into a university. We could not have reached this point without the dedication of many employees as well as friends and supporters of Stevenson.”