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Museum Auditorium Named for Helmut F. Stern

Helmut Stern

Helmut Stern

October 2006—In recognition of his extraordinary support for the Museum of Art over the years, friend and benefactor Helmut F. Stern will be honored with the naming of the 225-seat auditorium in the new Frankel Wing of the expanded Museum. Located in the Education Center, the auditorium will be used for an expanded array of public programming, including classes, lectures, symposia, performances, films, and readings.

“The creation of a state-of-the-art auditorium will allow us to take programming at the Museum to a new level,” said UMMA Director James Steward. “No one will take greater pleasure in these expanded capabilities than Helmut. He shares our vision of a Museum of Art at the center of campus and community life, so it is very fitting that our largest public gathering space will be named in his honor.”

In addition to Stern’s multifaceted support for UMMA, which includes many gifts to the collections—most notably his world-class collection of African art—his devotion to the University has been evident in a variety of important ways over the years. He serves as chair of the Kellogg Eye Center Advisory Board and has held membership on President Coleman’s and former President Bollinger’s advisory groups, the Cardiovascular Center Advisory Group, the Health System Advisory Group, the Campaign for Michigan’s National Committee, the Washtenaw County Campaign Committee, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Dean’s Advisory Council, and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy Advisory Committee.

In recognition of Stern’s outstanding contributions, he received the 2006 David B. Hermelin Award for Fundraising Volunteer Leadership at the Michigan Difference Campaign Gala dinner on October 20. This award honors the fundraising efforts of the late alumnus, entrepreneur, and philanthropist David B. Hermelin by recognizing other extraordinary volunteer fundraisers. Also named alongside Stern as 2006 Hermelin recipients are fellow UMMA supporter Molly Dobson, as well as Judy and Verne Istock and Ronny and John Riecker.