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American Magazine April 2014

American University is located in Washington, D.C., at the top of Embassy Row. Chartered by Congress in 1893 to serve the public interest and build the nation, the university educates active citizens who apply knowledge to the most pressing concerns facing the nation and world. Students engage with leading faculty experts and world leaders, learning how to create change and address issues including the global economic crisis, health care, human rights and justice, diversity, the environment and sustainability, immigration, journalism’s transformation, corporate governance, and governmental reform.

vision + planning =

vision + planning = legacy LOREN AND JAMIE DANIELSON Loren Danielson, Kogod/BSBA ’80, and wife Jamie, CAS/BA ’81, speak of American University as others might extended family. It’s an apt comparison: The couple’s connections to the AU community run deep. Loren joined AU’s wrestling program after being recruited by School of Education, Teaching, and Health professor Robert Karch, who grew from coach and mentor to family friend. Loren, a business administration major, met Jamie, an education and psychology major, in a humanities course. With help from fellow wrestler and AU trustee Alan Meltzer ’73 (see page 42), Loren landed his first job at investment firm Ferris & Co.—now RBC Wealth Management in Washington, D.C., where he serves as senior vice president. Loren and Jamie, a teacher at the Harbor School, married in 1984 and settled in Bethesda, Maryland, where they raised sons Collin and Matthew. The couple have supported AU Athletics for more than 30 years. They attend nearly every home match and make regular, annual leadership donations to the wrestling program. Over the years, they’ve come to know many wrestlers personally. “They’re great kids; they work hard–academically and as athletes,” says Loren. “In getting to know AU’s student-athletes, you can’t help but want to support them.” In addition to their annual support, the couple have made provisions in their charitable estate plans to establish the Loren and Jamie Danielson Endowment. Their generous gift will ensure the lasting quality of AU wrestling: a program that’s already produced one national champion and 16 All-Americans. FOR INFORMATION ABOUT HOW YOUR VISION AND CHARITABLE ESTATE PLANNING can create a legacy at American University, contact Seth Speyer, assistant vice president of development, at 202-885-3411 or speyer@american.edu, or visit american.edu/plannedgiving. 46 AMERICAN MAGAZINE APRIL 2014

top picks A knockout performance. That’s what critics are calling Margo Seibert’s Broadway debut as painfully shy pet store clerk Adrian in Rocky, the musical adaptation of the iconic boxing flick, which opened at the Winter Garden Theatre in March. (The Italian Stallion himself, Sylvester Stallone, wrote and produced the musical, which stars Andy Karl in the title role.) Before inheriting Talia Shire’s famous red beret, Seibert, SIS/BA ’05, honed her craft on stages across D.C., including the Folger Theatre, Imagination Stage, and the Olney Theatre. Dubbed one of Entertainment Weekly’s “2014 faces to watch,” the native Marylander moved to New York in 2010 with sights set on her name in lights. Rocky, she says is “thrilling and scary—and the opportunity of a lifetime.” An avid theatergoer (her first playbill: Velveteen Rabbit at Toby’s Dinner Theatre in Columbia), Seibert returns to AU each year to speak to students in professor-turned-friend Carl Menninger’s Business of Acting class. “It helps me remember how many steps it’s taken to get where I am now.” Seibert’s most influential musicals: 1. WEST SIDE STORY— I grew up watching West Side Story; I think I can sing every word. It doesn’t matter if it’s a high school production, I’m there. 2. GYPSY— Gypsy has one of the most beautiful books (narratives); the language is so honest. The part of Louise is my dream role—one day all the stars will align. 3. GIANT— Based on the Elizabeth Taylor movie about a ranch family and the Texas oil boom, this debuted at the Signature Theatre in Arlington. La Chiusa’s score is gorgeous. 4. LES MISÉRABLES— An oldie but goodie. I never tire of Les Mis; it’s one of the first musicals to use a revolving stage, which is magical. It’s coming back to Broadway— I can’t wait. 5. INTO THE WOODS—In high school I played the witch, and at AU I played the baker’s wife. I just auditioned for Cinderella. There’s not a bad role in the bunch. (I’m a forever Sondheim fan.) 6. THE BOY DETECTIVE FAILS— This one also premiered at the Signature Theatre; it’s about a boy detective who tries to figure out why his sister died. It’s a beautiful story about love and loss. 7. RAGTIME— Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the composers of Ragtime, also wrote the score for Rocky. It’s an honor to sing their music. 8. MELANCHOLY PLAY— Sarah Ruhl and Todd Almond’s musical, which I saw in Brooklyn in 2012, is weird but delightful. It’s billed as “an irrational play with a highly rational string quartet.” 9. ONCE— Once is a beautiful movie-intoa-musical, which is the trend now. All the actors play instruments—fiddles and accordions. It’s exciting to watch such a talented cast. 10. THE DISAPPEARING MAN— I’m partial to this one because it’s my boyfriend Jahn Sood’s musical about a 1930s circus. I’ve been involved creatively with the show; it’s important to cultivate and support new art. PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY 1 2 4 5 6 3 7 8 9 10 AMERICAN.EDU/ALUMNI 47