Named in Honor of Sam Bastia

Sam was a graduate of UMass Amherst with dual degrees in Chemical and Electrical engineering and later earned an MBA from Harvard University. While still in his 20s, Sam co-founded several technology firms and for his continued efforts in inspiring and supporting promising  young entrepreneurs was appointed to the Board of Mass Challenge. Here, Sam worked to accelerate high potential start-ups across industries and the globe.

Sam served for five years as Vice-President for Strategy and Corporate Development for Sun Microsystems and for 10 years served as Managing Director of Verizon Corporation in charge of Global Strategy.


Sam, a Global Verizon Executive, serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, M&A wizard, uber­strategist, force of nature, mentor, loving husband and father passed away in December 2017 after a year-long battle with cancer.

Sam was taken from us far too soon, but the impact he had on his family, friends and loved ones will last a lifetime. To everyone that knew him, Sam was a giving, loving, funny, larger-than-life person. The children and I would like you all to remember Sam for the amazing person he was, for the friendships he cherished, and the extraordinary things he accomplished.

Sam always went out of his way to motivate and help young entrepreneurs-the people that worked for him and with him to succeed. He truly enjoyed it. It was his passion – and it showed. What surprised me most (after being with him for 20 years) was the amount of emails, cards, and texts I received after his passing, expressing an outpouring of gratitude for the things he did quietly for people I was never aware of. I heard of his serving as a mentor, writing letters of support for visas, hiring countless interns and business school grads, and personally giving seed money to start businesses. He never sought nor wanted acknowledgement for the things he did. I think his acts of kindness fulfilled wishes he had as a young entrepreneur when starting his companies.

Not only do I mourn this unimaginable loss, but the world, as well, has lost an extraordinary mind that could have accomplished so much more.

Our hope for this scholarship fund is to carry on the understated spirit of giving that Sam possessed.