Schuster big donor to arts center
Renovated concert hall will honor the retired cardiologist and his late wife
FAIRBORN — Dr. Benjamin Schuster has made a substantial gift to Wright State University for the expansion and modernization of its Creative Arts Center. University officials announced Schuster's gift Wednesday, Feb. 18. Both declined to disclose the amount.
"Through his generous gift, Dr. Schuster is helping to fund the education of young artists in both the visual and performing arts," Wright State President David R. Hopkins said. "His gift will enhance our quality learning environment where students of music, theatre, dance, film and art showcase their talents to the community."
Schuster, a cardiologist and philanthropist, has been a clinical professor of medicine at WSU since 1975. "What we're hoping to do is embellish the creative arts program at Wright State," he said. "We've got a fairly good one downtown now, both in the performing and visual arts. I think that's an asset to the city."
Schuster and his late wife, Marian, were instrumental in building the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in downtown Dayton, which opened in 2003. The couple donated a reported $8 million to that project.
WSU's burgeoning creative arts program adds to the credit and cachet of the university, Schuster said. "Their components are aging and needed some renovation, and I just offered to help to renovate the Concert Hall.
"I think that the impact on that is great, both for the community and for the university," Schuster said.
Wright State will name the renovated Concert Hall in the Creative Arts Center in honor of Benjamin and Marian Schuster.
In 2007, Wright State embarked on a campaign to raise $26 million for the modernization and expansion of the Creative Arts Center. While much of the project will be financed with federal support, university expansion funds and support from the corporate and foundation community, $13 million in private support is needed, school officials said.
In addition to Schuster's gift, an anonymous $2 million gift was announced at Wright State's 2008 Arts Gala.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2419 or dlarsen@Dayton DailyNews.com.
Copyright, 2009, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights reserved.
The Wright State University Online Giving Site offers a secure way to give to the renovation of Schuster Hall, the department in general, a specific scholarship, or program within the Department of Music.
If you would like to speak to the College of Liberal Arts Development Director, Sara Woodhull, about other opportunities to support the Department of Music, call (937)775-2225.