SEC auditorium named for Lehman

An auditorium in the Science and Engineering Complex will be named after a former top University administrator, after a member of the Board of Trustees made a million-dollar donation in his honor.

The auditorium will officially be known as the “Dr. Donald R. Lehman Auditorium, Given by Mark and Susan Hughes,” after Hughes and his wife donated more than a million dollars to the SEC, a $275 million project the Board approved in October.

The gift is to honor Lehman, who served as executive vice president for Academic Affairs from 2003 until 2010, and who has been a member of the GW faculty since 1972. He also chaired the GW Department of Physics.

The naming was announced and approved at the Board meeting Friday, but it was kept from Lehman as a surprise until Monday, when Hughes broke the news to him over lunch.

“My very first thoughts were that I hadn’t really done anything to earn such recognition,” Lehman said. “So it was really quite a surprise and something very, very special.”

Hughes said they chose to honor Lehman for his commitment to GW that has “[made] the University what it is today and to position GW for true greatness.”

“In particular, he worked for many years to bring this facility to campus. In many ways, he is the ‘father’ of the Science and Engineering Complex,” Hughes said. “It is appropriate that the place where future faculty, students and visiting scholars will meet to exchange their ideas will be the Don Lehman Auditorium.”

The Board also approved the naming of several spaces in the newly renovated Smith Center for several large donors, including for trustee Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees and an alumnus who donated $100,000 to the project.

The associate athletic director’s office will be named the “Associate Athletic Director’s Office Given by Randy L. Levine (B.A. ’71).”

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