James Karam Scholarship Fund honors eight UMass students for academic excellence

Scholarship fund was established by the former Board of Trustees chairman

Students scholars gathering

Three current UMass Dartmouth students and one alum were among the eight University of Massachusetts students from the SouthCoast awarded $5,000 scholarships from the James J. Karam Scholarship Fund, in recognition of their academic achievements and campus involvement.

The scholarship awards were celebrated at a private dinner hosted in the students’ honor.

The James J. Karam Scholarship Fund was established in 2013 by business leader James Karam and his wife, Janis Karam. The endowed funds provide scholarships to full-time students attending or applying from the SouthCoast region of Massachusetts who distinguish themselves through strong academic performance and demonstrated financial need.

“Each year, I am awestruck by the hard work, dedication and accomplishments that all of these students have shown to their studies and lives,” said Karam. “It is a pleasure to be able to reward that commitment knowing that they are the leaders of tomorrow.”

University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan commended the student recipients and praised the Karam family’s dedication to UMass. 

“The Karam scholarship recipients are consistently some of the university’s most talented and deserving students—both in the classroom and outside of it,” said UMass President Marty Meehan. “We are so grateful to Jim and Janis Karam for their exceptional generosity and enduring commitment to UMass students.”

This year’s scholarship winners are:

  • Mia Arruda, Fall River – A senior majoring in bioengineering at UMass Dartmouth, Mia is a graduate of B.M.C. Durfee High School.
  • Aidan Cabral, Dartmouth – A sophomore at UMass Dartmouth who is majoring in marketing, Aidan is a graduate of Tiverton High School.
  • Kaleigh Patton, Fall River – Entering her senior year, Kaleigh is majoring in biology at UMass Dartmouth. Kaleigh is a graduate of Somerset Berkley Regional High School.
  • Peter DaCosta, New Bedford – A fourth-year medical student at UMass Medical School in Worcester, Peter is a graduate of Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School and the medical laboratory science program at UMass Dartmouth.
  • Emanuele Abi-Younes, New Bedford – A sophomore, Emanuele is majoring in chemical engineering at UMass Amherst. Emanuele is a graduate of New Bedford High School.
  • Samuele Abi-Younes, New Bedford – Joining her sister at UMass Amherst, incoming freshman Samuele intends to major in Economics. Samuele is a graduate of New Bedford High School.
  • Kyle Neves, Fall River – An incoming freshman to UMass Amherst who intends to major in political science, Kyle is a graduate of BMC Durfee High School.
  • Carly Sherman, Westport – A sophomore who is majoring in biology at UMass Amherst, Carly is a graduate of Bishop Stang High School.

James Karam 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 previously served on the University of Massachusetts System Board of Trustees for ten years, including four years as chairman. During his tenure, he played a leading role in initiating a multibillion dollar capital plan across all five UMass campuses.

A Fall River native, James Karam graduated from UMass Dartmouth in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and also received an honorary Doctor of Business from UMass Dartmouth in 2001.

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