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Robert Bream Donates Major Gift to Encourage Student Success

Donna Klinger

Robert W Bream Academic Commons

Robert W. Bream, a Gettysburg native, developed his commendable work ethic by picking cherries, delivering flowers and working in grocery stores in Adams County, starting at the age of 14. However, he struggled as a young man to overcome numerous obstacles and challenges. He had a strong drive to succeed, but influential individuals in his life didn’t recognize or nurture his potential. That changed when Mount St. Mary’s University accepted him as an undergraduate student and offered him the opportunity and encouragement to change his life.

Following a career in the financial services industry, Bream recently expressed his gratitude to the Mount by generously funding the Robert W. Bream Academic Commons in the university’s newly expanded and renovated Knott Academic Center. The Commons, an inviting and attractive space, provides commuter and residential students with space in which to collaborate and study.

“Three forces got me here,” Bream said. “God for the values, work ethic and discipline to make something of my life; my wife Susan who gave me self-confidence; and the Mount community that took a chance on me as a young man. It touches my heart to encourage current and future students.”

After graduating from the Mount in 1975 with a degree in finance, Bream worked as assistant general manager of the Pennsylvania Employees Union while pursuing an MBA at the Mount. Upon earning his MBA with honors in 1986, he served as president and chief executive officer of Jax Navy Credit Union until 1991. He later became president and chief executive officer of United Airlines Credit Union and president of North America Card Services and group executive vice president of Fidelity National Information Services before retiring at age 58.

Bream credits the Mount’s confidence in his academic abilities with fueling his tenacity and grit to achieve success. He modeled an ethical and honest life in the financial services industry and mentored employees and co-workers, four of whom served as CEOs of their own companies.

“Bob Bream’s story is remarkable for his perseverance in pursuit of a life of significance and his impressive achievements,” said Vice President for University Advancement Robert Brennan. “His gift makes it possible for current and future students to follow his exceptional lead, and the Mount is so grateful for his generous support of our students and faculty,”

Bream and his wife currently reside in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. They enjoy spending time with their adult daughters, Julie Fagan and Leslie Chafin, their sons-in-law and five grandchildren.

Donna Klinger