October 07, 2021

Isaacs Auditorium has been given a facelift.

Initially used as a dining hall, Seibert Hall’s Isaacs Auditorium was the first large gathering space on Susquehanna’s campus. As the university’s oldest auditorium, the space has been used for music and theater performances, chapel services, lectures and special events for more than 100 years. Today, it is mainly used for lectures and campus gatherings.

The Bramer Piano The Bramer PianoRenovations preserved the auditorium’s architectural integrity and include upgraded lighting and sound technology and a renovated stage, new flooring and new seating. It was last renovated in 1985.

To mark the reopening of Isaacs and to celebrate its rich history, a special recital was performed by members of Susquehanna’s music faculty during a dedication ceremony.

“Isaacs hasn’t been used much as a recital space over the past 20 years, so we are so happy to start using this truly beautiful and intimate space once again,” said David Steinau, department head and associate professor of music. “With the renovation and with the gift of a Steinway grand, there’s so much we can do here.”

In addition to music recitals, renovations present new opportunities for theatre and creative writing performances.

Also dedicated that evening was the Bramer Piano, a Steinway piano that will be permanently housed in Isaacs and used for student, faculty and guest recitals. The piano was a gift made by Becky Bramer ’92, assistant vice president for advancement at Susquehanna, in loving memory of her father, James Robert Bramer ’64, and brother, Mark Andrew Bramer.

“Susquehanna will always be a part of our family’s history,” Bramer said. “We have been proud members of the University’s music community for more than 50 years, and my father, my mother, my brother, my son and I have each had the honor of making music in its beautiful performance spaces, including Isaacs Auditorium.

“My father is remembered by classmates and friends for playing the piano by ear for fraternities and in dormitory lounges, and I hope this piano brings that same joy to future generations of wonderful Susquehannans.”

The renovation of Isaacs was made possible by support from The George I. Alden Trust, Peter J. Arduini ’86, Barry ’68 and Denise ’68 Jackson and John R. Strangfeld ’75.