Inaugural Recipients Named for James J. Karam Scholarships

Five UMass students, including one from UMass Amherst, are the inaugural recipients of James J. Karam Scholarships.

The award is named in honor of South Coast business and civic leader James Karam, a former chairman of the Board of Trustees. Each student was awarded $5,000 for the 2014-15 academic year, and the scholarship is renewable for up to four years. Recipients must be enrolled full-time or be incoming freshmen at one of the UMass campuses, hold a high GPA, and be permanent residents of the South Coast of Massachusetts or Tiverton, R.I.

President Robert L. Caret thanked James and Janis Karam, who are longtime advocates for the University, for establishing the James Karam Scholarship Fund. “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.

James 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.”

Recipients for 2014-15 include UMass Amherst sophomore psychology major Megan Hsia of Fall River.

Karam is president and founder of First Bristol Corp., 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 Board of Trustees in 2002 and named chairman in 2004. After stepping down in 2006, he was reappointed chairman in 2011 and ended a decade of service in 2012.

A native of Fall River, Karam and his wife, Janis, live 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.