Published On: Tue, Dec 7th, 2021

What made Arif Efendi Donate $200,000 to Norwich University?

In the fall of 2021, Arif Efendi donated $200,000 to his former college, Norwich University, in honor of its former dean.

Arif Efendi joins the Norwich University alumni who have donated to the development and maintenance of the institution.

Efendi, a British businessman, graduated from the private military college in 2009. He has recently decided to give back to Norwich University by gifting it $200,000.

photo 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

The donation was made to Norwich University’s Bicentennial campaign to name its Mack Hall atrium after Frank Vanecek.

When Arif attended the university, Vanecek was the dean of the School of Business and Management. Today he serves as the vice president for Student Affairs and Technology.

Mr. Efendi remembers the impact Prof. Vanecek and the institution had on his life.

“Professor Vanecek was always supportive,” Arif Efendi shares, and adds: 

“He always lent an ear and was always, for me, a voice of pragmatism. I felt like he was a father figure that I could always turn to and share my feelings with. Professor Vanecek played a key role in getting me to complete what I started at Norwich University.”

Arif Efendi: “It tested me as a person”

Arif Efendi is very open about how his time at Norwich University has shaped his life.

Even though he had a challenging start at the Vermont-based college, Arif Efendi is grateful for his time there.

“It took me out of my comfort zone and tested me as a person,” he explains.

“It taught me a lot of life lessons, and I appreciate the basic simple things in life even to this day because of Norwich University,” he says.

Even though it is a military college, Arif Efendi decided halfway through his time there that he would not commission into the army.

Instead, he immersed himself in business and went to visit and learn from upscale Vermont companies such as the ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry´s and the brewery Magic Hat Brewing while he studied.

The experience he gained there benefitted him in his future endeavors, as he entered the world of investment banking, sports as well as entertainment. He also began working in his family´s commodities business.

Arif Efendi adds monthly donation

On top of the $200,000 donation, Arif Efendi makes a monthly contribution of $500 to the Technology Endowment of Norwich University.

“Norwich University, being a military institution, should be at the forefront of technological innovation. It is a different proposition now from when I was first at the university, when the idea of war was sending feet on the ground,” he says.

“Now most of it seems as if it is all tech- and cyber-related. So, if I was to support anything at Norwich University, making sure it is at the forefront of technological innovation and education is my go-to. My ultimate goal is to make more money and support the Technology Endowment even more,” the British businessman states.

If you can help – do it

Because of Norwich University´s great impact on Arif Efendi´s life, he had no doubt that he would contribute to its future growth.

“I just think it is an important facet for any organization, individual, or entrepreneur. If you can help causes or institutions that have helped develop you as a person, then why not?”  he asks.

Throughout history, numerous alumni have contributed with personal efforts or money to Norwich University’s development.

Established in 1819, Norwich University is the oldest private and senior military college in the United States.

Originally located in Norwich, Vermont, it used to be known as the American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy, but has since moved to Northfield, Vermont and changed its name.

The private military institution consists of five colleges: the College of Liberal Arts, the College of National Service, the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies, the College of Science and Mathematics and the College of Professional Schools.

The Donation will Support America’s Future Leaders

One of Norwich University´s missions is to instill American values in its students. They learn to appreciate the values and principles on which the United States was founded.

It is equally crucial for the university to teach its students to respect all points of view.

Arif Efendi’s donations also demonstrate how the institution teaches its students that success should benefit others, not just themselves.

These values are an integral lesson in the students’ maturation process, which aims to develop the leaders of tomorrow. 

“The fact that Norwich has existed for more than 200 years is a testament to its role in society and shaping America’s future leaders,” Arif Efendi agrees.

Author: Rudy Hawkins

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