Susan and Douglas Breen ’68

Susan and Douglas BreenWhen you see the towering fig tree in his living room or the nearby exotic orchids laden with blossoms, you know that Doug Breen '68 loves to grow things. So it's only natural that he and his wife Susan chose to create endowed scholarships at Lehigh when it came time to plan for their estate.

For the Breens, scholarships are the best way to grow and build an enduring legacy. "If we eventually give three scholarships, which each help 25 kids in the next 100 years, that makes 75 kids who have benefitted," says Doug, doing the math. "Maybe one of them might discover the cure for cancer, or maybe some of them will do what we did and give back. Or maybe that might take 200 years, but it doesn't matter. It's the ripple effect."

A civil engineer, Breen did a tour of Vietnam as a Navy Seabee before settling in New Jersey with Susan and becoming an entrepreneur and bond salesman. In 1989, he founded Breen Capital Partners, a real estate development firm. As a brother of Phi Gamma Delta, class president, class correspondent, and volunteer, he has been a linchpin for his circle of Lehigh friends, always encouraging them to stay connected to the university that gave him his foundation.

"A Lehigh education is less about education and more about experience," Breen reflects. "They let you trip over yourself. You have to find ways to get it done. They teach you how to step into the void and make something happen. They teach you leadership."