March 24, 2022

CIM Announces $1 Million Scholarship From Susan Rothmann, Philip Paul & Jeremy Paul

Left to right: Philip Paul, Susan Rothmann and Jeremy Paul

A major gift from the Rothmann-Paul family has accelerated the pace of change at CIM.  

With their $1 million gift, announced yesterday at Severance Music Center, CIM Board Chair Susan Rothmann, and her husband and son Philip Paul and Jeremy Paul have paved the way to support countless young pianists’ studies at CIM and added momentum to the school’s push to significantly lower tuition costs for students. 

The gift establishes the Lola M. and Bruce F. Rothmann Dean’s Scholarship for Piano and recognizes the parents of Susan Rothmann, avid supporters of the arts in Northeast Ohio. The fund will provide scholarship support to outstanding conservatory students studying piano. It is the ninth such full-ride scholarship established by CIM’s generous donors, including the Mary Hamlin Memorial Presidential Scholarship, Edward and Gay Cull Addicott Presidential Scholarship, Robinson Family Presidential Scholarship, Jean and Richard Hipple Dean’s Scholarship, A. Malachi Mixon III & Barbara W. Mixon Dean’s Scholarship, A. Chace and Josephine Anderson Dean’s Scholarship, Iris and Tom Harvie Director’s Award and Ellen and Joe Thomas Endowed Fund

Dr. Susan Rothmann is the laboratory director of Fertility Solutions, a Cleveland diagnostics manufacturer she founded and led for 28 years. Rothmann was first elected to CIM’s Board in May 1986, is immediate past chair of the Development and Centennial committees and has contributed to the work of the Marketing and Academic Affairs committees, among others. She was elected as CIM’s board chair in September 2020. Dr. Philip Paul is the retired executive director and cofounder of the Cleveland Cord Blood Center. Their son, Jeremy, is founder and artistic director of Maelstrom Collaborative Arts in Cleveland and is CIM’s first interdisciplinary artist in residence. 

“Students come here believing this is the place to realize their dream to be a successful classical musician,” said Susan Rothmann. “My family has always supported those dreams. We wanted to be able to look back and say 2022 was the year we set the pace and demonstrated our commitment to an affordable future for CIM’s students.”  

CIM President & CEO Paul W. Hogle expressed his gratitude and put the gift in context, describing it as the latest example of the family’s love for CIM. “Susan, Philip and Jeremy, and Susan’s parents before her, have dedicated so much to CIM and classical music in Northeast Ohio,” he said. “This gift exemplifies their generosity and concern for the future of classical music. We are profoundly grateful and proud to name a full-tuition scholarship for an outstanding piano student in the name of Bruce and Lola Rothmann.”

Rothmann carries on the legacy of her parents. Her father, Dr. Bruce Rothmann, served on the CIM Board from 1983-2006, leading CIM’s Development Committee for nearly 20 years. Her mother, Lola, was an accomplished pianist and arts presenter as the concert manager for Tuesday Musical Association for 19 years, concert chairwoman of the Akron Symphony for 25 years and board member at the Children’s Concert Society of Akron. Both Bruce and Lola were active in many other organizations including Blossom Music Center, The Cleveland Orchestra and Ohio Ballet, and co-founded Music from Western Reserve. 

The gift arrives at a pivotal moment in CIM’s development. Now in its 102nd year, the University Circle institution ranks as one of the top independent conservatories in the nation. Cleveland, meanwhile, is a capital of classical music. These successes were built through the resolve of generations of community leaders, just as the future will be. To secure the next century of classical music in Ohio, CIM is committed to investing in scholarship and financial aid, to become more affordable for top music students and attract the best and most diverse talent. 

In 2017, CIM committed to lowering the net cost of education, and reduced tuition by 15% for the following year, and has held tuition flat at that level. Blueprint:100, CIM’s bold strategy for the future, includes a strategic goal of adding $40 million to the scholarship endowment over the next decade to support the affordability initiative, and this latest gift brings the total raised to $18.5 million. 

Hogle noted that while the move to a lower-cost model will not be easy, gifts like the new Rothmann scholarship, which aligns with the school’s broader mission, show it can be done. “CIM’s founders sought to establish a school of music where every type of student could find opportunity for the best musical education,” he said. “If we are to honor that vision, this is a challenge CIM must be willing to accept and cannot postpone.”