Chapman campus photo

Transfer of Brandman to UMass Allows Chapman to Strengthen its Focus on Research and Personalized Learning “The time is right for Brandman’s next step,” President Struppa says. The transaction grows Chapman’s endowment – a vital source for scholarships.

For more than six decades, Chapman University has served the needs and aspirations of adult learners, creating pathways to life-changing degrees for thousands of working students. Now those opportunities will grow, thanks to Chapman’s transfer of Brandman University to the University of Massachusetts (UMass).

The transaction, announced today (Sept. 2), creates UMass Global, a nonprofit affiliate of UMass that will deliver expanded online education to adult learners across the nation and around the globe. 

For Chapman, the transfer allows the university to intensify its focus on its core strengths of personalized instruction and research. The transaction also enhances Chapman’s endowment, a key source of scholarships for the next generation of Chapman graduates and community leaders.

“The time is right for Brandman’s next step,” said Chapman University President Daniele C. Struppa. “We built and elevated it as an institution, establishing 25 campuses in California and Washington, including six campuses on military bases. Now there’s a need to scale up even more. It’s an excellent partnership for Brandman and for UMass as UMass Global prepares to meet the growing needs of adult learners.”

A 63-Year History of Serving Adult Learners 

Brandman’s origins date to 1958, when Chapman began providing on-base classes to active-service members of the military. Eventually Chapman established Brandman as an independent university within the Chapman University System. Brandman is now widely recognized as a leader in blended and online education, with a strong record of serving a diverse range of adult learners.

“Finalizing the relationship allows both institutions – Chapman and UMass – to truly focus on their core strengths, which for Chapman is continuing our meteoric rise as a research institution,” Struppa said. 

The president emphasized that Chapman wasn’t looking for just any institution with which to partner. 

“We strategically reached out to UMass because of its strong reputation,” Struppa said. “We knew that UMass would pursue the same commitment to the students of Brandman that we have pursued.”

Funding Investment in a Thriving Future

Going forward, Chapman will focus its energy and resources on continuing the university’s upward trajectory, Struppa said. In recent years, Chapman has earned recognition as an R2 institution, for “high research activity.” It is home to a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and it produces students who earn Fulbright Awards and Rhodes Scholarships. 

A vital factor in Chapman’s continuing rise is the university’s endowment. 

“The first time I connected with our Board of Trustees, I emphasized the importance of growing our endowment so we could fund the scholarships that the next generation of students would need to achieve their dreams,” Struppa said. “Like those students, we’re determined to realize our full potential as an institution. This infusion of capital helps us continue to build our endowment as a source of investment in our mission and in a thriving future for our students.”

Many of those Chapman students share traits with Brandman adult learners, and that pleases Struppa.

“Often Brandman students represent their family’s first generation to attend college. They’re single mothers, veterans and others who traditionally struggle to find a path to higher education. This is a heritage we’re committed to continuing at Chapman,” Struppa said. “The additional capital will support those universal dreams of personal growth and achievement.”


Dennis Arp