James Karam Scholarship Fund awards $45,000 in UMass scholarships to six SouthCoast students

BOSTON – The James J. Karam Scholarship Fund has awarded six current and incoming University of Massachusetts students $45,000 in scholarships. The scholarships are awarded annually to SouthCoast students who distinguish themselves through their campus and community engagement activities and strong academic performance.

Business leader and former Board of Trustees Chairman James Karam and his wife, Janis Karam, established the James J. Karam Scholarship Fund in 2013.

“Every year I am inspired by these talented students and reminded of the transformative power of a UMass education,” James Karam said.  “We are honored to be part of their academic careers and have no doubt that these young leaders will be highly successful in their future endeavors and will make valuable contributions to their communities.”

UMass President Marty Meehan recognized the long history of the Karams’ generosity and applauded this year’s student honorees. 

“Every year, Jim and Janis Karam demonstrate their commitment to UMass students. Each of these talented and deserving scholarship recipients will receive a world-class UMass education thanks to the Karams,” said UMass President Marty Meehan. “We are profoundly grateful to them for their exemplary generosity.”

This year’s scholarship recipients are:  

  • Samuele Abi-Younes, New Bedford – Samuele “Sammy” is a senior at UMass Amherst studying finance and economics. She is a graduate of New Bedford High School.   
  • Nathaniel Klein – Nathaniel is a sophomore at UMass Lowell majoring in Pharmaceutical Sciences and is a graduate of Bishop Connolly High School. 
  • Savanha Laroche, Fall River – Savanha is a junior at UMass Dartmouth studying nursing and is a graduate of BMC Durfee High School.  
  • Chloe Morgado, New Bedford – Chloe is a junior at UMass Amherst studying political science and resource economics.  She is a graduate of New Bedford High School.  
  • Kyle Neves, Fall River – Kyle is a senior at UMass Amherst studying political science and is a BMC Durfee High School graduate.            
  • Athena Xifaras, Fairhaven – Athena is a junior at UMass Amherst studying psychology and art and is a graduate of Fairhaven High School.  

Originally from Fall River, James Karam graduated from UMass Dartmouth in 1971 before becoming the President and founder of First Bristol Corporation in 1975. First Bristol Corporation has developed retail shopping centers, hotels, and office buildings throughout southern New England. In addition, Mr. Karam co-owns the WSAR and WHTB radio stations.

For 10 years, Mr. Karam served on the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees, including four years as chair. During his time on the Board, Mr. Karam played a leading role in initiating a multi-billion-dollar capital plan across all five UMass campuses and establishing the UMass School of Law at UMass Dartmouth.