The Schiff Center Grand Opening
After more than five years of countless hours of hard work and the steadfast determination and dedication of the school community, Seven Hills celebrated the grand opening of The Schiff Center on May 11. More than 250 guests enjoyed an evening of touring The Schiff Center and athletic field house, food and drinks, speakers, and performances by Seven Hills students and alumni.
Following a ribbon cutting in the atrium, guests took seats in the Morse and Betty Johnson Theater. Head of School Chris Garten served as the evening’s master of ceremonies. Garten remarked on how integral The Schiff Center will be to students in all four divisions. “I and the administrative team have come to see this building as more than just a performing arts facility, but really as the heart of our community—a place to build excitement and to build relationships with one another,” Garten said.
Board of Trustees Chair Jen Stein spoke next. She called the grand opening of The Schiff Center a “milestone moment for our school.” She acknowledged the hard work of donors, the Robert and Adele Schiff Family Foundation, as well as Beth and Jim Schiff; the hundreds of donors who made the building possible; the Board of Trustees and former trustees; and the Seven Hills leadership team, including Garten, former Athletic Director Brian Phelps, current Athletic Director Scott Willard, chair of the fine and performing arts department Tina Kuhlman; Director of Finance and Operations Robert Horne; and Director of Development Margo Kirstein.
“We thank all of you for your sustained and transformative generosity to Seven Hills,” Stein said. “Congratulations and thanks to all! We did this together.”
Donors Jim and Beth Schiff also spoke. They thanked the administration, staff, and faculty, calling new buildings on campus a tribute to the work of the teachers. The Schiffs also noted that The Schiff Center was a team effort.
“After so many years of fantasizing, talking about, and planning this center, it’s really awe-inspiring to be here right now with all of you, and to see the fruits of our collective dreams and labor brought to life,” Beth Schiff said. “There’s so many people who worked so hard to get us here this evening.”
The evening closed with performers, who were introduced by Kuhlman. Performers included singer Brooke Howard ’07, freshman Jenny Hu, who played the guzheng, singer Will Graber ’16, and pianist Olga Shupyatskaya ’04. Sophomore Andrew Yang, a violinist, and senior Max Yuan, a violist, also entertained guests as they mingled in the lobby.