Brehm Family Donates $3M to EMU’s Special Education, Music Therapy Programs


Philanthropists William and Delores Brehm have donated $3.3 million to support Eastern Michigan University’s special education and music therapy students. Now the largest individual donors to the university, the couple has contributed more than $8.5 million to the educational institution.

“These gifts will both strengthen our academic programs and provide scholarships for outstanding students in the College of Education and College of Arts and Sciences,” says Kim Schatzel, interim president, provost, and executive vice president of academic and student affairs at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti. 

The donation will go to supporting full-tuition scholarships and student-faculty research partnerships for students in the special education program. The donation will also establish the “Delores Soderquist Brehm Endowed Research Fellowship in Special Education” program, which will support two fellowships annually for Brehm Scholars. The money will support two fellowships in music therapy, as well.

“Dee and Bill have long committed themselves to creating the next generation of leaders in the special education field,” says Phil Smith, director of the Brehm Center for Special Education Scholarships and Research. “This latest gift extends that commitment by supporting transformational scholarship and research at Eastern Michigan that will change the face of education for generations to come.”

Delores Brehm is a graduate of Eastern Michigan’s special education program. The Brehm’s previous donations have gone to establishing scholarships and research opportunities designed to train special education professionals and researchers who will find ways to support people with disabilities.