Almost Funded: The John “Arch” Ellsworth Endowed Scholarship Fund Nearly Reaches Goal

November 14, 2023

Brenda Friend Brandt met John “Arch” Ellsworth in 1972, when he was gigging around Massachusetts with his band, Eliza Moon. He was a self-taught guitarist and she was on the verge of her college years. 

“Arch and I were love at first sight,” Brandt B.F.A. '76 says. He encouraged her to follow her dream of becoming an actress and enroll at Boston Conservatory. She, in turn, inspired him to enroll at Berklee. 

Though their romantic relationship didn’t last, their friendship did. When Ellsworth died in 2015, Brandt wanted to find a way to honor him. She teamed up with his children, Avery and Anna Victoria Ellsworth, to create the John “Arch” Ellsworth Endowed Scholarship in 2021. Together, they’ve raised over $42,000 of the $50,000 needed to fully endow the fund. 

“Establishing a scholarship in memory of a loved one ensures that person’s passion for music lives on through the students who receive this support,” says Ginny Fordham, senior managing director of Berklee’s office of Institutional Advancement. 

Ellsworth B.M. '77 was a passionate musician who found incredible joy and camaraderie in his years at Berklee. The fund will support students who are financially and academically deserving and have the potential to make a significant contribution to society through music. Preference will be given to instrumentalists, composers, or arrangers—especially those who are the first in their family to pursue higher education—and will emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Brandt is asking both her and Ellsworth’s fellow alumni to help her complete the fund.“I don’t think there is a better way to show the love and support we have for the schools that started us on the journey than to know we are securing their future.” 

To make a gift please contact Ginny Fordham at 

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