Berklee Establishes Danroy 'DJ' Henry Social Change Scholarship

By 
Margot Edwards
August 6, 2020
Press release
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Danroy "DJ" Henry
Image courtesy of the Henry family

Berklee announces the establishment of the Danroy “DJ” Henry Social Change Scholarship. The scholarship was created in honor of Danroy “DJ” Henry, a Pace University student from Easton, Massachusetts, whose life was tragically cut short in 2010 at the age of 20.

“The recent death of George Floyd has been a traumatic reminder for our family, and has served as a wake-up call to the world. We ask our community to listen to the pain of those who are suffering and take peaceful action in order to achieve change. We continue to support and grieve with the many families who have been affected by economic disparities, by race-based violence, and by any police officer who ignores their duty to protect and serve. Together we can stand and continue to take action towards change,” explain Angella and Dan Henry and the Henry family. Dan Henry is a member of Berklee’s Presidential Advisory Council.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, discussions at Berklee included ways to unite the community in the call for racial justice. “We thought about DJ for a scholarship because of the college’s close relationship with the Henry family,” said Barbara Thomas, program associate in the Music Production and Engineering Department, who connected with the family soon after DJ’s death and has been involved with the DJ Dream Fund ever since. Thomas is spearheading the scholarship, along with Beverly Tryon, assistant vice president for Institutional Advancement; Beth Platow, associate professor in the Liberal Arts Department; and a committee that includes faculty and staff from across the institution. 

The relationship between Berklee and the Henrys extends back several years. In addition to serving on the Presidential Advisory Council, Dan Henry had previously worked with Berklee President Roger H. Brown at Bright Horizons, the company Brown founded with wife, Linda Mason. Brown reached out to Dan Henry directly about founding the scholarship at Berklee. 

“Dan reacted so positively and was very enthusiastic about the idea,” said Brown. “We’re very motivated to honor DJ in this way at Berklee, while at the same time providing the opportunity to assist students with great talent and limited resources.”

Based on the guidance of Dan and Angella, the scholarship will support Berklee College of Music and/or Boston Conservatory at Berklee students who are financially and academically deserving with the potential to make a significant contribution to society through the performing arts.

The scholarship is being launched with a generous $10,000 matching gift. Contributions can be made at the DJ Henry Social Change Scholarship at Berklee page. All gifts are welcome and participation is encouraged at all levels.

Learn more about DJ Henry’s story in the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, and on 48 Hours.