Bruegger’s Bagels Co-Founder Nordahl Brue and Wife Suzanne Donate $1.5 Million to Family History Learning Center in Boston

The Brue Family Learning Center at American Ancestors Will Inspire New Family Historians and Genealogists

Suzanne and Nordahl Brue

September 12, 2019—Boston, Massachusetts—Bruegger’s Bagels co-founder Nordahl Brue and his wife Suzanne Brue have made a gift of $1.5 million to New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) to endow the creation of a family history learning center where visitors from all backgrounds can learn more about their ancestry.

Located on Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)—known online as American Ancestors to millions of users—is the nation’s oldest and largest genealogical society. The gift will endow the creation of a new Brue Family Learning Center as part of a campus expansion program to introduce family and local history to wider audiences. It will also fund the creation of unique program content in family history for the organization’s online and special events offerings. This gift follows American Ancestors and NEHGS’s successful $62.5 million capital campaign and its acquisition of an adjacent building at 97 Newbury Street, into which its facilities will soon expand.

Brenton Simons, President and CEO of NEHGS and American Ancestors, announced the Brues’ gift: “This generous gift from Nordahl and Suzanne Brue is testimony to their sharing of our vision to inspire others to engage in history and genealogy. With a deep personal interest in family and local history, they have made a far-reaching commitment to our planned expansion. The creation of the Brue Family Learning Center at our headquarters will guarantee access to research, technologies, programs, and events by many new intergenerational visitors to our facilities and to our website. We celebrate their gift and the inspiration it signifies through a new center of learning bearing their name.”

American Ancestors and NEHGS are leaders in the creation and delivery of educational products and programs in genealogy, providing innovative online and in-person instruction to its 260,000+ members worldwide through its American Ancestors brand.

The expansion of its Back Bay campus in Boston into a center for the discovery of family history will include educational experiences designed to engage visitors of all backgrounds and interest levels in the exploration of their unique family story. New resources there will allow a visitor to explore their personal family history, discover stories of how and why people came to America, learn about the indigenous people who were already on America’s shores, and better understand the burgeoning field of DNA and genetics.

Nordahl Brue said, “We are excited to help NEHGS further its mission as it grows far beyond its Yankee and New England roots. With recent additions of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center, the ground-breaking digitalization of the records of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and its leading role in the GU272 Georgetown Memory Project of African American history, NEHGS has truly become ‘American Ancestors.’ We hope to help our fellow Americans learn to use these magnificent resources as they search the stories of their family’s role in the building of our great country.”

Nordahl Brue, lawyer, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the Bruegger’s Bagels chain of restaurants, is a member of the Board of Trustees of American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society. In 1983 he opened the first Bruegger's Bagels in Troy, New York, with Mike Dressell. Today, Bruegger's runs approximately three hundred bakery-cafes in twenty-four states and the District of Columbia.

Brue also serves as Chairman of Northbridge Investments, LLC, and as a principal in the Burt Street Cellars (Sonoma, California wines). He is a Life Trustee of Grinnell College and serves on the National Council of Washington University Law School. He is a former Chair of Green Mountain Power Corporation, PKC Corporation, and Franklin Foods, and served on the Vermont Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors as well as the Council of Environmental Advisors.

Suzanne Brue is an author, teacher, and wellness expert exploring the intersection of fitness, personality, and behavior change, and a frequent speaker at psychological and fitness conferences. Her groundbreaking book, The 8 Colors of Fitness: Discover Your Color-Coded Fitness Personality and Create an Exercise Program You’ll Never Quit, offers practical, down-to-earth advice for every fitness personality—from those new to fitness to no-nonsense gym rats and competitive athletes.

The Brues are residents of Delray Beach, Florida.

Media Contact:

Lisa Colli
Public Relations Manager, American Ancestors
(o) 617-226-1261 | (m) 617-480-4664