Martha L. Karsh

Mrs. Martha L. Karsh

Martha L. Karsh, smiling and wearing a black top and pearls.

Martha L. Karsh is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Virginia Law School. She co-founded architectural and design firm Clark & Karsh and, in 2016, published “The Beatles A Hard Day’s Night: A Private Archive.” Martha Karsh currently serves on the national board of KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Foundation, co-chairs the bicentennial “Honor the Future Campaign for the University of Virginia,” and is a trustee emerita of the University of Virginia Law School Foundation.

She successfully led a $70 million growth campaign for KIPP in Los Angeles. Martha Karsh and Bruce A. Karsh, her husband of 43 years, founded the Karsh Family Foundation in 1998 which supports education, democracy and community. Through the foundation, the Karshes have granted over $400 million for education, professorships, and scholarships, principally for undergraduate financial aid. At Duke University, the undergraduate financial aid department is named after the Karshes. The Karshes have established major scholarship programs at Duke, the University of Virginia Law School, the University of Pennsylvania, Howard University, Spelman College, and Brown University. Two of them are top merit scholarship programs: the Karsh STEM Scholars Program at Howard University and the Karsh-Dillard Scholarships at Virginia Law School. 

In 2021, the Karshes founded the Institute of Democracy at UVA. In 2022, Howard University also announced a $10 million gift from the Karsh Family Foundation to support the Graduation Retention Access to Continued Excellence (GRACE) grant. Martha and Bruce Karsh are major supporters of KIPP, Teach for America, Charter School Growth Fund, and UNCF.