Donors Continue 35 Years of Support

Brehm Family, Which Created One of the University’s First Endowments, 
Say Everyone Has Role to Play 

Students from disadvantaged backgrounds will be able to attend the University of Massachusetts Boston free for four years, thanks to the latest gift from a charitable trust established by the late Harold and Ella Brehm, a Brookline couple who created one of the first endowments in the university’s history in the 1980s.

The new gift continues a fruitful 35-year bond between UMass Boston and the Brehm family. Harold and Ella Brehm were not UMass Boston alumni, but both expressed a fervent belief in the value of public education. In their lifetimes, the couple established two endowed scholarship funds and invested nearly $1 million in an endowment which has provided support for over 200 students and continues to fund Samuel Brehm scholarships for students from Boston and Chelsea public high schools.

“The Brehm family has selflessly supported UMass Boston for decades,” said Chancellor J. Keith Motley. “Cuts in public funding have made private support more essential than ever. The generosity of the Brehm family, and others like them, is crucial so we can continue to provide an affordable, world-class education for our students.”

The Brehms’ five sons have carried out their parents’ support for public higher education through their parents’ charitable trust. Harold and Ella Brehm were not wealthy, their sons said, but were willing to make sacrifices to support causes important to them.

“What my parents taught us, and what my brothers and I still believe, is that you don’t have to be rich to be a philanthropist,” Eric Brehm said. “Our family has always been very passionate about the promise of higher education, and about UMass Boston in particular, and we’re proud to continue our support.  We encourage others to consider supporting education opportunities for students who may not otherwise be able to attend college.”

The late Harold and Ella Brehm