Inaugural Recipients Announced for James J. Karam Scholarship Fund

Newly established scholarship supports high-achieving SouthCoast students across UMass system

Five UMass students are the inaugural recipients of the James J. Karam Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is named in honor of SouthCoast business and civic leader James Karam, former University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees' chairman.  Each student was awarded $5,000 for 2014-2015 and the scholarship is renewable for up to four years. To be considered for a scholarship, students must be currently enrolled full-time or incoming freshmen at one of the UMass campuses, hold a high GPA, and be permanent residents of the SouthCoast of Massachusetts or Tiverton, Rhode Island. 

President Robert L. Caret thanked Jim and Janis Karam, who have been and continue to be tremendous advocates for the University of Massachusetts, for establishing the James Karam scholarship. "This scholarship memorializes the Karam family's desire to support students from the SouthCoast region and Tiverton to attend any UMass campus.  Jim and his family are wonderful examples of the power of giving and we are grateful for their continued generosity," he said. 

Jim Karam said: "Janis and I are thrilled to be able to assist these accomplished students who have demonstrated a strong sense of self-motivation and achieved success on many fronts in their young lives." 

The following students received awards for the 2014-2015 Academic Year: 

Samantha Rollings 
Tiverton, Rhode Island 
Mechanical Engineering, UMass Dartmouth Class of 2018 

Megan Hsia 
Fall River, MA 
Psychology, UMass Amherst Class of 2017 

Courtney Jenkins 
Acushnet, MA 
Exercise Physiology, UMass Lowell Class of 2017 

Jona Koka 
New Bedford, MA 
Chemistry/Economics, UMass Dartmouth Class of 2016 

Rachel Luciano 
Fall River, MA 
Psychology, UMass Dartmouth Class of 2016 

James J. Karam '71 '01 (Hon.) is president and founder of First Bristol Corporation, which has developed retail shopping centers, hotels and office buildings throughout southern New England since 1975. He also co-owns WSAR and WHTB radio stations. 

Karam was appointed to the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees in January 2002 and appointed as chairman of the Board in August 2004. After stepping down in 2006, he was reappointed chairman in 2011 and ended a decade of service in 2012. Over the course of his service, he served as a  member of the Committee on Administration and Finance, the Development Committee, the Trustee Governance Committee and the Compensation Committee, as well as vice chairman of the Committee on Administration, Finance and Audit, the Committee on Athletics and the Investment Sub-Committee for the University of Massachusetts Foundation, and as co-chair of the Athletic Task Force. 

A native of Fall River, Karam and his wife, Janis, reside with their four children in Tiverton, R.I. He graduated from UMass Dartmouth in 1971 with a bachelor's in business, and received an honorary Doctor of Business from UMass Dartmouth in 2001.

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