Alumni philanthropists, Dr. Edward and Mrs. Barbara Klarman, create future Pivotal Moments

February 2, 2018


Home—the place where the heart is, so the saying goes. For two Wayne State University graduates, home means, and always has meant, Detroit. Edward Klarman, B.S. '57, M.D. '60, and Barbara Klarman, J.D. '64, have generously committed much of their time and resources to both the city and the university which have played key roles in their lives. As philanthropists and Pivotal Moments Campaign Committee Members for the School of Medicine, the Klarmans have made it their goal to give back.

"Wayne State University offered me unimaginable opportunities," said Dr. Klarman. "I grew up in Detroit, where my family lived in very modest means. While attending Wayne State for both undergraduate and medical schools, I lived at home and took the bus to get to classes. Wayne State was a way for me to obtain an education and to pursue a rewarding professional career, and for that, I feel indebted to the university."

Mrs. Klarman shares in her husband's loyalty to the university and has become a strong supporter of the Law School.  "I also grew up in Detroit, but went out of town for college and grad school. After I received my master's degree in musicology from Columbia University, I decided it was time to come home and change my career path." To do so, she chose Wayne Law School. Both Ed and Barbara Klarman agree that their Wayne State degrees provided them with the critical skills and resources that shaped their successes. Their university experiences even inspired their shared passion for the arts.

In appreciation of these opportunities, the Klarmans have established the Edward L. Klarman, M.D., Endowed Scholarship in the School of Medicine and the Barbara Klarman Endowed Scholarship in the Law School during the Pivotal Moments Campaign. Through these scholarships, they hope to alleviate some of the financial burdens on students so that they may focus more freely on pursuing their educational goals.   

 "When I went to medical school, tuition was five hundred dollars per year," Dr. Klarman mentioned. "Working just during the summer, I was able to earn and save enough to pay my tuition for the coming year. I graduated debt-free and proceeded to develop my career without any prior debt worry. That's not possible anymore. Barbara and I established our scholarships to help those who really need financial assistance to complete school and to move on in their lives. We believe that such scholarships are a critical means to empowering future generations of physicians and lawyers." 

Further commenting on the special role the medical school plays in the Detroit community, Dr. Klarman recounted that during medical school, he and his fellow students trained at Receiving Hospital. There they helped many people who were indigent and suffering from the results of poverty and inadequate medical care. Today the medical school continues this important commitment to meet the special needs of this underserved population.

The Klarmans feel that Wayne State is a natural recipient of their charitable investments because of the quality education they received from the university and because of its integral role in promoting the entire Detroit community. To pursue this agenda and to help maintain the high level of professional training, the Klarmans have supported the medical school so that future generations of Wayne State alumni can share in this goal. They hope others will do the same. To learn more about giving to the School of Medicine, contact Ed Maki-Schramm at (313) 577-6482 or