Education

ASU, Thunderbird get $25M donation from Phoenix businessman

Posted 1/21/22

Arizona State University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management received a big gift on Thursday.

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Education

ASU, Thunderbird get $25M donation from Phoenix businessman

Posted

Arizona State University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management received a big gift on Thursday.

Phoenix businessman Francis Najafi and his wife Dionne, both Thunderbird graduates, presented the school with a $25 million check at a Thursday event, also attended by Dr. Sanjeev Khagram, Director General and Dean-Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University.

The sizable donation will fund a brand-new initiative that will allow 100 million new students and entrepreneurs, primarily women and those in underserved global communities, to access education in an unprecedented way. Thunderbird courses, currently offered only in English, will be translated into 40 languages and students will be able to take them free of charge.

Only 6.7% of the world has a college degree while 129 million girls worldwide are not in school. Currently, 90% of the world’s students do not have access to the resources and recognition of top-ranked universities, something this initiative seeks to reverse.

Najafi, a minority owner of the Phoenix Suns, is the CEO of Pivotal Group, a private entrepreneurial investment firm in the Valley.

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