Eastern Michigan University EMU HOME
About EMUFuture StudentsCurrent StudentsAcademics & ResearchFaculty & StaffAlumni & FriendsAthletics & RecreationNews & Events

Oct. 18, 2004
CONTACT: Ward Mullens

Eight EMU students get Brehm Scholarship for work in special education

YPSILANTIFifty-six years ago, Delores Soderquist did not see college in her future plans. But a $50 scholarship from Eastern Michigan University changed her life forever and she never forgot.

As a result of her experiences, Soderquist and her husband William Brehm have endowed $500,000 to EMU and will add an additional $500,000 over the next two years.

As the eight 2004-05 Delores Soderquist Brehm Endowed Scholarship recipients will attest, it’s not the size of the gift that matters. Every dollar helps.

"This is going to pay for my student teaching (tuition) and that was a worry for my family before this," said Amy Mangan, a senior from Richmond who received a one-time award of $2,500. "I can't believe this happened. I've never received anything like this before."

Recipients include:

Ellen Arble of Plymouth;

William Bolton of Pinckney;

Michele Danilowicz of Woodhaven;

Benjamin Darragh of Ypsilanti;

Kristy Metz of Canton;

Dustin Saalman of Tiffin, Ohio;

Kathy White of Dearborn Heights.

Saalman, a senior, said he is one of the many EMU students who juggle two jobs while working toward his degree. He said things will be more manageable for him with the award.

"My (scholarship money) is actually being put aside to student teach, so that when I do that, I won't have to work," he said. "It will make things nice and easy to finish out my degree."

The recipients of the scholarship were honored at a recent luncheon at University House and met their benefactors.

"How do I feel? I feel like Ellen (Arble, one of the students who received a scholarship). I wish I could do more," Delores Brehm said, referencing Arble's commitment to special education. "They (scholarship winners) are so impressive and so worthy."

Almost all of the students who were awarded scholarships are non-traditional students and each one, on their application for the scholarship, indicated financial need for college, said Lynn Rocklage, head of the department of special education.

Soderquist graduated from EMU with a major in special education-mentally impaired and a minor in English. As an undergraduate, she was a member of Kappa Delta Pi and Theta Lambda Sigma, and a member of the Choral Union.

The couple resides in McLean, Va.

"We came to the place where we felt we could give back to the places where we'd been given so much," Delores Brehm said. "EMU was at the top of the list where I wanted to give back."

The Brehms established the endowed scholarship with $500,000 gift in 2002. They recently made a commitment to EMU to increase the gift to $1 million over the next two years. To date, including this year’s recipients, there have been 14 awards given.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

EMU Home | University Communications Home