Headlines at Hopkins: news releases from across the 
university Headlines
News by Topic: news releases organized by subject News by Topic
News by School: news releases organized by the 
university's 9 schools & divisions News by School
Events Open to the Public (campus-wide) Events Open
to the Public
Blue Jay Sports: Hopkins Athletic Center Blue Jay Sports
Search News Site Search the Site

Contacting the News Staff: directory of university 
press officers Contacting
News Staff
Receive News Via Email (listservs) Receive News
Via Email
Resources for Journalists Resources for Journalists

Faculty Experts: searchable resource organized by 
topic Faculty Experts
Faculty and Administrator Photos Faculty and
Faculty with Homepages Faculty with Homepages
Hopkins in the News: news clips about Hopkins Hopkins in
the News

JHUNIVERSE Homepage JHUniverse Homepage
Johns Hopkins Initiative News

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160
Fax (410) 516-5251

June 21, 1999
Dennis O'Shea
(410) 516-7160, dro@jhu.edu

Retired Opera Singer Pledges $1 Million
for Student Arts Center

Loretta Lee Ver Valen, a retired soprano, voice teacher and supporter of the arts in Baltimore who began her opera career as a Peabody Conservatory student more than 70 years ago, has pledged $1 million to The Johns Hopkins University for its student arts center.

The 53,000-square-foot facility, now under construction along North Charles Street on the university's Homewood campus, will house fine and performing arts spaces, including a music center that will be named in Ver Valen's honor. Other facilities include a dance studio, a 150-seat theater, a film and digital media center and other student activities areas. The center, to be completed in fall 2000 at a total cost of $17 million, will have social gathering places for students, faculty, and staff, and is envisioned as a link between the campus and the Charles Village neighborhood across Charles Street.

Johns Hopkins University Student Arts Center

The student arts center will serve principally students in the university's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineeringncreasing numbers of whom are enrolled in joint programs at the Peabody Conservatory. Peabody became affiliated with Johns Hopkins in 1977.

"We could not be more pleased with Mrs. Ver Valen's generosity in helping to fund this important facility, which will so greatly enrich our students' lives," university president William R. Brody said.

Ver Valen, 95, has previously made significant gifts to Peabody, to Johns Hopkins Medicine and to other local institutions such as the Baltimore Opera Company, which she nourished in its infancy and for which she chaired the annual vocal competition for 30 years.

A native of New Castle, Pa., she graduated from Peabody in the 1920s and married fellow student Alfred Ver Valen, who became a successful real estate developer. She toured the East Coast as a member of the DeFeo and Columbia opera companies, performing such roles as Nedda in Pagliacci, Pamina in The Magic Flute and Mimi in La Boheme. She also taught many years in Peabody's Preparatory Division.

Besides the Baltimore Opera Company, her civic involvements include the Walters Art Gallery, Grace United Methodist Church, the Three Arts Club of Homeland, the Baltimore Symphony Associates and the Baltimore Opera Guild.

Ver Valen is a founding member of the Opera Guild International, which honored her in 1998 with its award for outstanding service in the field of opera.

The student arts center is one of the capital projects targeted by the Johns Hopkins Initiative, the fund-raising campaign of The Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System. The campaign, which recently reached its overall $1.2 billion goal, will continue as scheduled through June 2000 in support of university and health system priorities, including endowment, facilities, student aid, and library technology.

Johns Hopkins University news releases can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/
   Information on automatic e-mail delivery of science and medical news releases is available at the same address.

Go to Giving and Alumni News Home Page

Go to Headlines@HopkinsHome Page