Longtime UofM supporter Mike Bruns challenges alumni and friends to join him in aiding students with a $1 million scholarship matching fund

August 6, 2020 - Mike Bruns, a member of the University of Memphis Board of Visitors, and his wife, Marian, committed $1 million to launch the Bruns Scholarship Challenge Fund, a 1:2 matching opportunity that challenges donors to establish new endowed scholarships at the University. The matching fund’s primary purpose is to increase the number of students who graduate from the University of Memphis by addressing one of the biggest obstacles students and their families face – affordability. 

“Mike Bruns is a friend and a steadfast ambassador for the UofM whose support has benefitted many programs on campus over the years,” said UofM President M. David Rudd. “We couldn’t be more grateful to Mike and his family for their continued generosity in making an investment that will yield remarkable returns for generations of students.”

The Bruns Scholarship Challenge Fund will match at least 20 new gifts for financial need-based undergraduate scholarships. New gifts of $35,000-$55,000 from eligible new donors, pledged over up to five years, will be matched 1:2. Also, $7,500 will go into a current use fund, making $1,500 scholarships available immediately to eligible students annually for five years. The remaining funds will be invested in the endowment, ensuring that the scholarship will benefit future Tigers in perpetuity. 

“I am excited to offer my support to the University of Memphis because of its deep commitment to providing young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to excel and earn a degree,” said Mike Bruns. “When I learned that awards of as little as $700 can make a difference between a student graduating and dropping out, I knew I had to help. I challenge anyone serious about the benefits of higher education to individuals and the community to join us in supporting students who are pursuing a brighter future, either through our challenge or by creating their own matching gift fund.”

In 2019, the University of Memphis awarded 1,304 students with scholarships funded by its donors. The University’s goal is to increase the number of students it supports with privately funded scholarships to 2,000 by 2025.

If you are interested in participating in the Bruns Scholarship Challenge program, visit memphis.edu/brunschallenge or contact Joanna Curtis, chief advancement officer, at jecurtis@memphis.edu or 901.678.5274.