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A Gift That Keeps on Giving | $25 Million Arizona State University Scholarship Donation

Arizona State University Scholarship

The Francis and Dionne Najafi Global Initiative to Educate 100 million learners by 2030.

Francis and Dionne Najafi are well-known in our community for their generosity, and this one-of-a-kind inclusive, innovative, impactful global initiative will advance one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to provide quality education for all.  

Thanks to a historic $25 million donation from the Francis and Dionne Najafi Global Initiative, Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University will offer an accredited online Global Management and Entrepreneurship Certificate, consisting of five world-class courses in 40 different languages.

Of the 100 million learners the program will reach worldwide, it is estimated that 70 percent will be young women. The certificate will be covered by full scholarships and thus no cost to students because of the philanthropic support undergirding the initiative.

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“Our lives were transformed by access to quality education at Thunderbird, and we wanted to extend that same transformative experience to people around the world who lack access to quality education,” says the Najafis. “We are excited and deeply humbled to be part of such a bold initiative.”

“At Thunderbird, our vision is a world of sustainable and equitable prosperity, and as part of Arizona State University—the number-one school for innovation seven years running—we measure success not by whom we exclude, but rather by whom we include,” says Thunderbird Director General and Dean, Dr. Sanjeev Khagram. “As a refugee of Idi Amin’s Uganda, my life was transformed by having access to world-class education, so this is deeply personal for me.” 

“Our lives were transformed by access to quality education at Thunderbird, and we wanted to extend that same transformative experience to people around the world who lack access to quality education,” says the Najafis. “We are excited and deeply humbled to be part of such a bold initiative.”

As well, Francis Najafi is the American Dream come to life, coming from Iran to get an education and earning four degrees from three universities. 

“We are grateful for their commitment to a borderless expansion of the opportunities that come with higher education,” says Arizona State University President Michael Crow.

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The Francis and Dionne Najafi Global Initiative will provide millions of people with the global management and entrepreneurship skill sets that are not only imperative to accelerate personal success and economic prosperity but also to address persistent poverty and increase inequality worldwide. And you are invited to support this initiative as well.

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