Nov 10, 2021 12:31 PM EST
Arif Efendi Donates $200,000 to the Norwich University that Helped Shape His Life
12 years after graduating from Norwich University, a private military college, Arif Efendi gives back by donating $200,000 to the institution's Technology Endowment
The class of 2009 alumnus Arif Efendi gave a $200,000 donation to Norwich University's Bicentennial campaign to name the atrium in Mack Hall after Frank Vanecek.
"If you can help causes or institutions that have helped develop you as a person, then why not? I just think it is an important facet for any organization, individual or entrepreneur," the London-based businessman Arif Efendi says about his contribution to the establishment in Vermont.
During Arif Efendi's studies, Frank Vanecek acted as the dean of Norwich University and is currently the senior vice president for Student Affairs and Technology.
The former dean played a significant role in Arif Efendi's years at the college.
"Professor Vanecek was always supportive. 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 go to and share my feelings with. So I credit Prof. Vanecek for playing a big part in making sure I finished what I started at Norwich University," Arif Efendi shares.
Arif Efendi ensures technological innovation and education
In addition to his gift, Arif Efendi also supports the Technology Endowment of Norwich University with $500 each month.
"I think 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 military academy, 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."
Arif Efendi chose business over military career
Even though Arif Efendi experienced some difficulties during his first months at Norwich University, he is thankful for his years at the private military college.
"It took me out of my comfort zone and really tested me as a person. It taught me a lot of life lessons. I appreciate the basic simple things in life to this day because of Norwich University," he states.
Still, halfway through his studies, Arif Efendi concluded that he would not commission into the army.
Instead, he turned his focus on business and visited and learned from several accomplished Vermont companies such as Ben & Jerry's and the Magic Hat Brewing.
After graduating in 2009, Arif Efendi continued his way down the business path and began working in investment banking, the sports and entertainment sectors, and his family's commodities business.
Nurturing the American character at Norwich University
Norwich University has a rich history as the oldest private and senior military college in the United States. The institution, founded in 1819 as the American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy, is located in Northfield, Vermont.
The college serves about 2,600 students on campus and 1,400 online with its bachelor's and master's degrees.
Norwich University offers degrees in a variety of areas.
Among them are Studies in War and Peace, Premed and Prehealth, Political Science, and Criminal Justice.
Norwich University has fostered the American character in its students by teaching them the principles and values of the United States since its foundation.
The institution also centers on diversity and aims to instill an understanding of other cultures in its students.
Norwich University believes that such understanding is essential in today's diverse society and that the world we live in today results from the mix of different cultures.
Additionally, the private military college teaches its students to understand and respect other points of view.
Multiple donations from Arif Efendi and other alumni
Arif Efendi's gift to the university reflects another of Norwich University's focal points.
"We teach our students that success is something that should benefit both themselves and others and that their personal goals in life should naturally include both self and others," the college writes on its website.
Many alumni have given back to the university over the years, and Norwich University takes pride in the strong relationship it keeps with former students.
The alumni have, for instance, aided the university by giving donations or other needed resources and by offering their professional help.
"It is this bond that causes people to stop each other on the highway and show each other their class rings. It is this bond that has endowed the organization handsomely when compared with other organizations of our size," Norwich University explains on its website.
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