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Lifelong Learners Step Up to Enhance Graduate Students’ Success

Gifts From Helene Stein ’74, MLS ’76 and Husband Michael Reflect Shared Love for Art and Travel

By Josh Arinze

student tours art museum

Photo by Shutterstock; photo below courtesy of Helene and Michael Stein.

The Helene and Michael Stein Graduate Student Endowment and Current-Use Fund in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at UMD’s College of Arts and Humanities will support graduate student travel in art history and archaeology.

Helene and Michael Stein (below) are lifelong learners with a deep interest in art and art history. And they both love to travel. The Steins brought both passions together in a gift commitment they made to establish the Helene and Michael Stein Graduate Student Endowment and Current-Use Fund in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at UMD’s College of Arts and Humanities. Their gift will support graduate student travel in art history and archaeology, giving its beneficiaries the means to conduct research abroad and enrich their firsthand knowledge in the field.

“Travel has been an important part of our lives both before and after retirement,” said Michael Stein. “Nothing beats being in a city abroad and seeing art up close and personal. Studying art history and then seeing the works in situ is like meeting old friends and making new ones.”

Steins tour FlorenceAlthough it’s been more than 40 years since Helene graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in English education (1974) and a master’s in library and information science (1976), she and Michael continue to take advantage of the mind-enrichment opportunities available on campus. They’re both Golden ID students at UMD, happily involved in a program that allows eligible senior citizens to take advantage of the wide variety of courses at the university—at greatly reduced cost. The Golden ID program is available to legal residents of the state of Maryland who are 60 or older and retired. Semi-retired Maryland residents 60 or older can also participate, provided they’re not engaged in paid employment for more than 20 hours a week.

The Steins emphasized that the joy they’ve derived from the Golden ID program was a major factor in their decision to make their gift to UMD. “The university has become an integral part of our retirement activities,” said Helene Stein. “We have taken mostly art history classes since 2014, but we have also taken courses in history and theater. We love art history and we’re grateful to the University of Maryland for making these courses available at minimal cost.”

The Steins said they also wanted to help graduate students of art history have a memorable experience and to support their preparation for successful careers. “As these students complete their art education, we’d like them to have fun and experience the same joy we’ve experienced in travel,” Michael Stein stated.

For the foreseeable future, the Steins intend to continue their participation in the Golden ID courses at Maryland. “The enriching material in the classes and our exchange of ideas with the younger students is fun,” they said. “The kids seem to get a kick out of our being there too.”

 

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