For Jane and Mark Roberts, a shared commitment to education really began when they met at a school in the suburbs of Boston.

It was at the Cabot Elementary School in Newton, Mass., where Jane (’73) began her career as a student teacher finishing her degree from Wheelock College, and Mark (’76, Questrom’85), fresh out of Brown University, got his first job. The two quickly became a couple.

“I always wanted to be an elementary school teacher,” says Jane, who was born in Boston.

For Mark, teaching was a revelation, setting him on a career path he hadn’t envisioned. He decided to go to Wheelock for a graduate degree in education, then later pursued an MBA at BU and a career in corporate banking. But his passion for education never waned.

“I was a teacher who was playing banker in a three-piece suit,” says Mark. So he returned to the classroom. He joined the Questrom School of Business faculty after leaving Fleet Bank in 2003. He retired from Questrom in 2017.

The couple joined the board of trustees at Wheelock, which hadn’t yet merged with BU, in 2011, after Jane had retired. There, they saw the growing need for financial aid, so they established the Roberts Family  Endowed Scholarship Fund, supporting Boston residents seeking a career in education. BU’s Century Challenge will match the fund’s spendable income for 100 years. Because of the match, the Robertses decided to increase their commitment.

“We literally looked at each other and said, this is what we need to be doing,” Jane says.