Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Mugar, Stephen P., 1901-1982


Stephen P. Mugar (1901-1982), H1979, was a lifelong philanthropist and major donor to Tufts University. Mugar Hall, on the Medford campus,was named in his honor.

Mugar was born on March 5, 1901, in Armenia. He came to the United States with his family in 1906, immediately prior to the Armenian massacres. In 1916, Sarkis Mugar, Stephen's father, bought a small grocery store in Watertown called Star Market. Stephen worked at Star while attending the Boston High School of Commerce until his graduation in 1919. He then began working at Fuller Brush Company, while continuing at Star and attending night classes at the Bentley School of Accounting and Finance. In 1923, Stephen took full responsibility for Star Market after his father was killed in an automobile accident.

Mugar began his philanthropy early on in life. In 1932, during the Depression-era bank holiday, Mugar announced that Star would extend credit to its customers and would also cash checks. In 1938, when a major hurricane hit Boston and much of the city lost power, Mugar cut five thousand pounds of dry ice into seven-pound blocks, and had Star employees deliver the blocks to homes where children and elderly lived so that their food would not spoil.

Between 1932 and 1964, Mugar expanded Star Market, and by 1964 he owned thirty-six supermarkets in the area. Mugar also acquired Brigham's Ice Cream in 1960. In 1964, Mugar merged Star and Brigham's with Jewel Tea, Inc., a Chicago company. Mugar continued as chairman of the board at Star until 1969, when he had completed fifty years of service.

Mugar was a longtime overseer of the Boys and Girls Club in Boston, and also founded the Hundred Club, an organization benefiting families of police and firemen killed in the line of duty. He also gave generously to many local colleges, including Boston University, where he established the Mugar Memorial Library, Boston College, Suffolk, Colby-Sawyer, Northeastern, Brandeis, and MIT. Mugar also donated the funds for Mugar Hall at Tufts.

Mugar served as a trustee at Boston University, Colby College, Northeastern, and Suffolk, and was a Fellow of Brandeis University. He received numerous honorary degrees recognizing his philanthropy, including a 1979 honorary degree from Tufts University.

Mugar died of natural causes on October 16, 1982.

Source: VF

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Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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