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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Transitional Year Program named to honor Myra Kraft ‘64

Published: August 23, 2013
Section: Featured, News

45 years ago, the first Transitional Year Program (TYP) students enrolled at Brandeis as a means to help them afford and succeed in higher education. Now the TYP program has been named in honor of Myra Kraft ’64, an alumna and trustee who passed away in 2012.

The Kraft family made a $5 million dollar gift to Brandeis in her honor, to secure the future of the TYP.

“Myra was a humanitarian in both a personal sense and a community sense, and she believed that young people with motivation, determination and focus shouldn’t be held back because they lacked opportunity,” President Frederick M. Lawrence told BrandeisNow. “She had a unique way of relating individually to everyone she met. She loved helping people unlock their inner potential to have an impact on the world.”

TYP is a yearlong program for 20 high-achieving students who have not had access to adequate resources such as AP courses in their schools. After they are admitted into the program, they learn in small and intimate classes and receive mentoring from faculty. The program develops students’ academic and leadership skills, laying the groundwork for future success.

“This gift will have a lasting impact at Brandeis, as the Kraft TYP will continue a 45-year program that enables young people, who otherwise may not have had access, the opportunity to explore new possibilities for their lives,” Lawrence said. “By opening the doors to Brandeis, we help them change the arc of their lives.”

Wife of Robert Kraft, owner of the Boston Patriots, Myra Kraft was best known for her work as a philanthropist. She supported many charities, focusing on poverty and human services, through both the Kraft Family Foundation and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation.

“Myra loved Brandeis University and nothing would have made her more proud than to have her name associated with the Transitional Year Program,” said her husband. “It has been helping underprivileged students achieve greatness through higher education for decades. The investment in these aspiring students each year will continue to have an immeasurable impact in our communities for generations to come. The TYP personifies what Myra’s life was all about.”