SU grateful for pair of donors

SU grateful for pair of donors

Stevenson University has received two generous donations from the Philip A. Zaffere Foundation and the parents of a Stevenson Class of 2022 student to go towards the building of a new library and to help fund gap scholarships, respectively.


The first donation is a $2 million gift, one of the largest in Stevenson’s history, from the Philip A. Zaffere Foundation, an independent non-profit organization based in Towson, Maryland, founded in 2016. Zaffere himself was “an entrepreneur, inventor, and food production engineer from Maryland’s Eastern Shore,” according to a Feb. 10, 2020 article by John Buettner, vice president of marketing and digital communications at Stevenson. Zaffere passed away in 2016.

The money will go towards the construction of a new, 55,000-square foot library on the Owings Mills North campus and will be named in honor of the foundation.

The new complex will feature both academic and recreational spaces in addition to its library facilities. Elliot Hirshman, president of Stevenson University, said, “Over time, the entire site will become an academic complex like the Manning Academic Center. We envision the library, a theater and a faculty commons, among other amenities, being part of this complex.”

A rendering of the new Philip A. Zaffere Library to be constructed on the Owings Mills North campus. (Graphic from

Hirshman is excited for the complex and says that it will be a “place where our community gathers for a broad range of academic and co-curricular programs, as well our daily academic efforts.”

Previously, Stevenson was scheduled to break ground and begin site development in the spring, according to the Feb. 10, 2020 article by Buettner, but this date has changed due to unforeseen circumstances.

Hirshman said that “given the COVID-19 pandemic, the opening of the library is likely to be delayed. Once the governor’s stay-at-home order is lifted, we will be able to return to campus and begin assessing the next steps to move construction forward.”

The second gift is from the parents of a Stevenson Class of 2022 student, who gave $208,000 in order to “fund gap scholarships that can assist scholarship-receiving students when they face a short-term interruption in their ability to pay due to circumstances beyond their control,” as stated in Buettner’s article.

The parents who donated explained the reason they gave to the school: “In potentially uncertain times, it is more important than ever that our long-term investments in a Stevenson education and in our students not be lost to short-term disruptions that can occur in their lives,” according to a statement from Buettner’s article.

This donation will help support students during the current pandemic, and Hirshman said that the university is deeply grateful for both of the generous donations.