MSUToday
Published: Nov. 2, 2017

$1M gift from alumna supports Music Pavilion

Contact(s): Kristen Parker Media Communications office: (517) 353-8942 cell: (517) 980-0709 Kristen.Parker@cabs.msu.edu, Michael Sundermann College of Music office: (517) 353-2043 sunderm1@msu.edu

Michigan State University’s College of Music has received a $1 million gift commitment from Selma Hollander, an alumna and former instructor in the College of Arts and Letters, to support a space for vocal music and student recitals.

The gift is part of a plan for a major expansion and renovation of the college’s facilities.

“I am an artist,” Hollander said. “I love all types of art. But music is the only art that is capable of bringing me to tears. We always believed in supporting the things we loved, and I am happy to be able to support the wonderful things that are happening in the College of Music.”

The College of Music, which currently benefits from eight endowments to support music students created by Hollander and her husband, the late business professor Stanley Hollander, will name the Stanley and Selma Hollander Opera/Choral/Student Recital Hall in honor of this most recent gift.

“Selma Hollander has been an incredible force for good at MSU,” said President Lou Anna K. Simon. “This recent gift to the College of Music is just one example of the countless ways her generosity has made, and will continue to make, MSU a more vibrant community for all who study, participate in and enjoy music and art of all kinds.”

The recital hall will provide vocal music students with configurable space for learning, rehearsal and performance. The hall is part of a $35 million project currently in the planning phase that involves the addition of a 35,000-square-foot music pavilion and total renovation of 8,500 square feet of existing space.

“Selma and Stanley continue to change lives through their passion for attending and supporting the arts,” said James Forger, dean of the College of Music. “We are overwhelmed with Selma’s generosity in providing a gift of $1 million, which will name a newly conceived space that will be the home of the vocal arts (opera and choral rehearsal), student recitals and space for classroom teaching.” 

The Hollander name has become synonymous with the arts at MSU for decades. After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art in 1962 and 1965, respectively, Hollander joined the faculty in home economics and taught weaving, crafts and fabric design.

Though Stanley Hollander passed away in 2004, Hollander continues to support their favorite causes. In addition to the College of Music, they’ve given to the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, the Wharton Center, the departments of Theatre and Art, Art History and Design, MSU Libraries, the Jewish Studies Program and the Eli Broad College of Business.

However, this particular investment from Hollander fulfills a long-held dream of her late husband, who had a lifetime love of opera.

“We’ve always had a great friendship with Dean Forger,” Hollander said. “For years, Stanley would tell him, ‘Jim, if I had a million dollars, I’d give it to you.’”

Hollander’s gift follows gifts from James Billman Jr., Byron and Dolores Cook and the late Ruth Charles, which add up to more than $8.5 million of the $17.5 million in private funding being sought for the College of Music building project.

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