Former MSTF Auditorium Transformed into Bright, State-of-the-Art Amphitheatre
With a complete top-to-bottom renovation, the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) has dramatically transformed it’s 1970s-era Medical School Teaching Facility (“MSTF”) Auditorium into “Leadership Hall,” a bright, inviting and elegant space that will serve as the UM SOM’s new signature venue for large events. The UM SOM community --which played a significant role in making the renovation possible -- is now ready to celebrate!
On Monday, May 15,UM SOMDean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, hosted a community-wide celebration to mark the reopening of the 8,000 square foot facility, which now features a bright, contemporary design and seating for more than 700 persons. Over the past year, the Hall has received a complete renovation. The stage was raised, and was rebuilt with light-colored ash wood to brighten the Hall. New carpeting was installed, and the Hall is now accessible to disabled persons. All of the seats are new. They are bright red, and are much more comfortable. There is all new lighting and wood paneling, which also improves the acoustics. Speakers have been installed, as have large screens to further improve visibility for speakers. The balcony has been rebuilt so that sightlines are greatly improved. In addition, the balcony railing is now clear plastic, further improving visibility.
“I am still amazed every time I walk into the new hall to see how beautiful the facility has become,” said Dean Reece, who is also the Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. “This has been a true school-wide effort – with board members, all SOM leaders, many faculty, students, staff, alumni and special friends – making financial contributions. We should all be proud of what we have accomplished together, and excited to have this new facility for our major events.”
Many chairs in the Hall feature an engraved metal plate on the wooden arm rest to commemorate an individual donor who made a contribution. These include individual donors, groups of students, entire departments or donors wishing to memorialize a colleague or family member with a named chair.
“The renovation received wide support from the SOM constituencies who provided varying levels of contributions to support the refurbishing,” said Darren Parker, Interim Associate Dean for Development at UM SOM. “We are extremely appreciative of the enthusiasm we received from the department chairs and directors, as well as our Board of Visitors, who contributed significant leadership gifts to renovate the Hall.”
Prior to the renovation, the facility was dark and dreary. Many of the balcony seats had obstructed views, and the acoustics were poor. There were problems with heating and cooling, and there was no handicap access to the stage. In addition, the decor and seating was in need of a complete makeover.
The overall goal was to improve the experience for both audience and speakers. “The sightlines were impaired, so we raised the stage a few inches to help with the visibility,” said Drew Moore, Architect, Facilities Services Management, at UM SOM. “Previously, the back of the stage was made of old brown brick. We wanted to draw people’s eyes to the stage, so we tried to make it as light as possible. We specified ash wood so that the audience would focus on the stage.”
“It is very exciting to announce that the School of Medicine now has a large premier event facility that is befitting of the top-tier institution that we are,” said Dean Reece.
Leadership Hall Display Honoring Donors
About the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Commemorating its 210th Anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 and is the first public medical school in the United States and continues today as an innovative leader in accelerating innovation and discovery in medicine. The School of Medicine is the founding school of the University of Maryland and is an integral part of the 11-campus University System of Maryland. Located on the University of Maryland’s Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine works closely with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide a research-intensive, academic and clinically based education. With 43 academic departments, centers and institutes and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians and research scientists plus more than $400 million in extramural funding, the School is regarded as one of the leading biomedical research institutions in the U.S. with top-tier faculty and programs in cancer, brain science, surgery and transplantation, trauma and emergency medicine, vaccine development and human genomics, among other centers of excellence. The School is not only concerned with the health of the citizens of Maryland and the nation, but also has a global presence, with research and treatment facilities in more than 35 countries around the world. medschool.umaryland.edu/
Mary J. Njoku, Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Education, Department of Anesthesiology
Donna L. Parker, MD, FACP, Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Stephen T. Bartlett, MD, Chair, Department of Surgery, Surgeon-in-Chief, Executive VP, UMMS
Richard L. Taylor, MD, BA, Board of Visitors, School of Medicine