New SMRT Stevens Scholarship honors Maine architectural legacy of John Calvin Stevens and his family

The University of Southern Maine Foundation announces the creation of the SMRT Stevens Scholarship with a $20,000 seed gift from SMRT Architects and Engineers, Maine’s largest design firm. The scholarship, established by SMRT and named in honor of SMRT’s renowned founder, John Calvin Stevens, will benefit USM students studying in areas supporting architecture and engineering professions while emphasizing sustainability and thoughtful, quality art and design.

SMRT President, Ellen Belknap, with Paul Stevens, Senior Architect and great-grandson of John Calvin Stevens — USM Foundation photo

Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects, a partner with SMRT on the USM Portland Campus Transformation Project currently under construction, has contributed an additional $15,000 to the SMRT Stevens Scholarship.

As architects and engineers on USM’s Portland Campus Transformation Project, SMRT led and managed a talented team in the design and development of an iconic gateway to the University’s academic community. The new McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success and the adjacent 580-bed Portland Commons residence hall surrounding a central green quad will open this fall. Designed to meet the highest standards of sustainability and accessibility, the project is a catalyst that will help transform the student experience at USM and the vital Forest Avenue corridor along the University’s Portland campus.

“SMRT Architects and Engineers is pleased to support the education of USM students pursuing careers in design, engineering, and the supporting professions required today in our field,” said SMRT President Ellen Belknap. “USM’s commitment to sustainability and excellence in design will echo for generations as future professionals find their career passions at USM. We are also celebrating the contribution from our design partner, Elkus Manfredi Architects, who has generously added to the scholarship fund.” 

Architect John Calvin Stevens in his Portland office circa 1890 — SMRT Architects and Engineers photo

“We are thrilled to see this project come to fruition, thanks to the extraordinary leadership of SMRT and its talented team,” said USM Foundation President and CEO Ainsley Wallace. “SMRT and Elkus Manfredi’s partnership on the largest development project in USM history will have a profound impact on the futures of our students and community that cannot be overstated. And now, with the SMRT Stevens Scholarship, this team is contributing to student success in another vitally important way. We are deeply grateful.”

The SMRT Stevens Scholarship honors the legacy of John Calvin Stevens (1855-1940), the nationally acclaimed architect who founded the company in 1884. Celebrated as an innovator in the “shingle style” of architecture, Stevens designed more than 1,000 buildings in the state of Maine, many on the Portland peninsula. His building designs have left an enduring mark on the architectural landscape of Maine. Future generations of the Stevens family have continued to build on the vision and success of the company’s founder, including his great-grandson Paul Stevens, AIA, NCARB, who ably led the firm for many years and contributes to the practice as a senior architect.

A John Calvin Stevens’ drawing of a home in the Shingle Style he was renowned for — SMRT Architects and Engineers photo

The SMRT Stevens Scholarship will help talented students with demonstrated financial need majoring in a wide range of disciplines that support architecture and engineering professions with a focus on sustainability, art, and design. These include engineering, visual and performing arts, accounting and finance, arts and entrepreneurial studies, marketing, and geography-anthropology/sustainable cultures, among others. The first scholarship will be awarded this fall.

The University invites additional donations to further the education of students pursuing design-related careers.