Claremont, Calif. (July 23, 2009) — Pitzer College is offering the public a chance to leave their legacy in the soon-to-be renovated George C.S. Benson Auditorium. Anyone can purchase a seat for $500 to commemorate their time on campus or to honor a loved one.
The auditorium in Avery Hall has been the heart of campus life at Pitzer College for the past 40 years. Since Avery Auditorium opened in 1969, theatrical productions, concerts, lectures, classes and more have come to life on its stage.
Robert Day presented Pitzer College with a personal gift of $3 million for the renovation of the auditorium, the largest private donations ever received by the College. At Day’s request, the auditorium will be named George C.S. Benson Auditorium to honor his good friend, the late Dr. George Benson, a founding trustee of Pitzer College as well as a founding trustee and founding president of Claremont McKenna College. In recognition of a gift from Eugene Stein, a Pitzer College trustee, the auditorium’s new glass atrium will be named the Eugene and Marilyn Stein Atrium.
The top-to-bottom renovation of the auditorium includes expanded performance and lecture space, a new dual purpose glass-enclosed lobby opening onto the Mounds, new seating throughout the facility and an attractive exterior architectural design. Brenda Levin of Levin & Associates Architects, Los Angeles, is the architect for this project (and was the architect for the successful renovation of the Griffith Park Observatory). Now underway, this project is expected to be complete by spring 2010.