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USC School of Dramatic Arts establishes endowment for Dean’s Chair

The school’s largest gift to date is made by Trojan parent in honor of Dean David Bridel

Steve Braverman, Niki Nikias, C. L. Max Nikias
Steve Braverman, Niki C. Nikias and President C. L. Max Nikias (Photo/Steve Cohn)

Trojan parent Steve Braverman has endowed the Braverman Family Dean’s Chair at the USC School of Dramatic Arts in honor of the school’s dean, David Bridel. This is the school’s largest gift and its second major gift since Bridel was named dean in April.

“This exceptionally generous gift is only further proof of the Braverman family’s unshakable commitment to our university,” USC President C. L. Max Nikias said. “As a member of the Board of Councilors for the School of Dramatic Arts, Steve has been a trusted adviser whose passion for education matches his high regard for Dean Bridel. Steve has seen firsthand how connected the school is to each student’s success and envisions this endowment as a way to further that success in the years to come.”

The endowment will fund the School of Dramatic Arts Dean’s position in perpetuity and the surrounding activities and initiatives that are key to Bridel’s vision. These include increased scholarship, faculty development and evolving curricula to offer a more contemporary approach to dramatic arts training.

USC Provost Michael Quick said the gift comes at an important time for the school.

“Steve Braverman’s generous support for the school and Dean Bridel will create a springboard for the faculty, staff, graduates and students to expand and enrich the field of dramatic arts in the coming years,” Quick said.

Bridel said: “I am deeply grateful to Steve for his extraordinary support through this wonderful gift. He is an amazing champion of the arts and the university and his legacy will benefit our school in perpetuity. I am very proud to be the first dean in the Braverman Family Dean’s Chair and to know this leadership gift will help the school for generations to come.”

New initiatives

New Jersey residents Steve and Abbey Braverman exemplify the engagement of Trojan parents. Their daughter, Heather, is a student at the School of Dramatic Arts. The Bravermans have been Tri-State Parent Ambassadors for the school since fall 2014. Steve is currently the chair of the USC Parent Leadership Circle Executive Committee.

Steve Braverman, who praised the school’s new initiatives and the strength of Dean Bridel’s vision, hopes to help “continue the momentum.”

“Dean Bridel’s ideas to develop cross-discipline partnerships and incorporate more new media opportunities for the students will make this school one of the strongest in the nation,” he said. “Heather has already excelled academically and creatively thanks to the diverse and talented faculty, but we are confident that Dean Bridel’s new initiatives will build on that foundation and help advance her career and future as an artist. We hope our gift will encourage others to support Dean Bridel’s exciting vision at this critical moment in the school’s growth.”

Steve Braverman is co-CEO of Pathstone Federal Street, an independent, family- and employee-owned integrated wealth management organization. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and attended the Keller Graduate School of Management MBA Finance Program. He is on the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees, the Yale-New Haven Hospital Investment Committee and has a history of philanthropy.

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USC School of Dramatic Arts establishes endowment for Dean’s Chair

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