Transitional Year Program named in memory of Myra Kraft '64

$5 million gift honors legacy of distinguished alumna

Photos/Mike Lovett

Myra Kraft '64 with some of the many Brandeis students she supported

Myra Kraft ’64 believed in providing the resources that children and young people need to succeed.  

“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,” said Brandeis President Frederick M. Lawrence. “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.”

“Naming the Brandeis Transitional Year Program in Myra’s honor is a truly fitting way to honor this strongly held belief and her legacy. As an alumna and Trustee, she was a true daughter of Brandeis.”

Established in 1968, the Transitional Year Program (TYP) is a one-year academic program for students who have not had access to necessary resources either at home or in school to prepare for a rigorous four-year undergraduate experience. Each year 20 outstanding students who have not had access to AP courses and honors courses are admitted to Brandeis through the TYP. They are selected from a pool of more than 200 applicants.

“Myra loved Brandeis University and nothing would have made her more proud than to have her name associated with the Transitional Year Program,” said Robert Kraft. “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.” 

“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 added. “By opening the doors to Brandeis, we help them change the arc of their lives.”

The program provides small classes and strong support systems to help students apply the focus, energy, perseverance and maturity developed through leadership practiced in their life experiences to rigorous studies at the postsecondary level. Students who enter the TYP have a life-changing experience, and have their stories of success added to the TYP’s hundreds of living testimonies of true ambition, resilience, courage and triumph.

Meet some of the TYP program participants and hear their stories by viewing the TYP video.

Categories: Alumni, Student Life

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