Eighteen New Scholarships Established in Response to Mike Bruns Scholarship Challenge Fund at the UofM

March 1, 2021 — An unprecedented 18 endowed scholarships have been created in response to the Mike Bruns Scholarship Challenge Fund since Sept. 1. The $1 million fund, established by University of Memphis Board of Visitors member Mike Bruns and his wife Marian, provides a 1:2 matching opportunity that challenges donors to establish new, need-based endowed scholarships at the University.

“The enthusiastic response to the Bruns Challenge has exceeded our most optimistic expectations,” said UofM President M. David Rudd. “We are honored that so many remarkable community members -- alumni, friends, and even faculty and staff -- have stepped up to take advantage of this unique opportunity. With the help of the matching funds provided through the challenge, the impact of these scholarships will go even further to make a difference for generations of students.”

The scholarships will support students in areas of studies across the UofM. Scholarships that qualify for the Bruns Scholarship Challenge match include:

•             Dr. Roger S. & Mary E. LaBonte Scholarship

•             Robert Allen Curtis Engineering Scholarship

•             Lisa & David Jennings Scholarship

•             Towler, Cheng, Searcy Family Completion Scholarship

•             Mike & Marta Foster Engineering Scholarship

•             Dr. Karen Weddle-West Completion Scholarship

•             Springfield First Generation Scholarship

•             Lisa Huffstetler Scholarship

•             Tammy Hedges & Bishop & Sloan Hedges-Green Scholarship

•             Flintco Foundation Scholarship

•             Kappa Beta Alumni Association Scholarship Fund

•             Pallme Family Scholarship

•             Barker Family Education Scholarship

•             Johney & Emma Green Memorial Scholarship

•             Duncan-Williams, Inc. Scholarship

•             Michael & Suzanne Spicel & Michelson Scholarship

The Bruns 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.

“With matching funds still available for the time being, we expect the Bruns Challenge to help create more than 30 new scholarships for students from the Memphis area with a demonstrated financial need before the fund is exhausted,” said Joanna Curtis, the UofM’s chief advancement officer.

“I am excited that so many donors have taken my challenge to expand the support we can provide to these young people,” said Mike Bruns. “It’s good to know that there are others who are committed to supporting students as they pursue a brighter future.”

In 2020, the University of Memphis Foundation awarded almost 1,400 scholarships to students 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.

Individuals interested in establishing a scholarship should contact Joanna Curtis, chief advancement officer, at jecurtis@memphis.edu or 901.678.5274. To learn more about the Bruns Scholarship program, visit memphis.edu/brunschallenge.