Round Hill CEO Josh Gruss ’97 Gives $1 Million to Establish Berklee Scholarship Fund

The scholarship fund will support financially and academically deserving students majoring in music business/management at the college.

August 3, 2021
Josh Gruss

Josh Gruss

Image courtesy of Josh Gruss

Berklee alumnus and trustee Josh Gruss ’97 has gifted his alma mater with $1 million to establish a new scholarship at the college. The Josh Gruss/Round Hill Music Endowed Scholarship Fund will support financially and academically deserving students majoring in music business/management.

Gruss is the CEO, chairman, and founder of Round Hill Music, an independent music publishing and record company and the sixth-largest music publisher in the United States. Gruss has a background in finance, having worked in investment banking at Bear Stearns & Co., before founding his own private investment firm, Gruss & Co., in New York City. He has experience in the music industry, having worked at Sony Music, Atlantic Records, and Clear Channel’s live music division. Gruss became the first Berklee alumnus to take a company public on the London Stock Exchange, with Round Hill Music’s IPO in November 2020. 

"Josh has always been a staunch advocate of the Music Business/Management Department and music business education in general,” says Tonya Butler, chair of Berklee’s Music Business/Management Department. “My work with him on the MOOC course Copyright and Revenue Streams for Musicians, as well as this incredibly generous gift, are just two of many examples of how much he cares about our students and is willing to contribute his time and money to see them succeed.”

An active member of the Berklee community, Gruss studied guitar and music business at the college's Boston campus from 1995 to 1998, and has since taken more than a dozen Berklee Online classes. A Berklee trustee for seven years, Gruss's influence and leadership has helped guide the institution into a new era of success. He personally supported the development of a massive open online course (MOOC), which allowed students to sample the Berklee experience for at no cost, and has participated in numerous panels and webinars at the college. Round Hill Music employs several Berklee alumni and hosts a number of student interns each year.

Gruss helped establish Berklee’s partnership with Rimon School of Music, which enables students to begin their music education at Rimon in Israel and then complete an undergraduate degree at Berklee in Boston. He also plays guitar in the Boston-based rock band Rubikon, and has performed at the Red Room at Cafe 939 at Berklee. 

The Josh Gruss/Round Hill Music Endowed Scholarship Fund will aid multiple students on an annual basis with financial assistance in pursuing music business/management degrees. The fund seeks to assist students from underrepresented groups who are financially and academically deserving. Students will be chosen on a committee basis. 

“After all that Berklee has done for me, to help develop me as a musician and a music business person, it’s a thrill to be able to give back,” says Gruss. “Diversity and equality are core values of Round Hill, and so it is wonderful that the Round Hill scholarship will help ensure underrepresented students get financial aid to come to Berklee.” 

Learn more about Berklee's scholarships and grants