Frank Islam to dedicate $2-million management school at alma mater AMU

Frank Islam, Indian-American investor and philanthropist.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Indian-American investor and philanthropist Frank Islam will dedicate a $2 million management school that he financed at his alma mater, the Aligarh Muslims University (AMU), on February 12.

Mr. Islam sees his support for the Frank and Debbie School of Management at the AMU more as an investment than charity. “I would not be the person I am if it were not for Aligarh education. Aligarh students have always been our best hope. My investment is my way of saying thank you and keeping the hope alive,” Mr. Islam, who made a fortune in the United States as a technology entrepreneur, says. Mr. Islam has also been a major donor to the Democratic Party and numerous other philanthropic activities in the U.S. and India.

‘Trump-era a dark chapter’

Keeping the hope alive is important, he – an Indian-American Muslim – says, noting that America is entering a dark chapter under President Donald Trump. “Depending on who is looking at it given conditions in the United States and around the world today, it might be said that I am either doubly blessed or doubly cursed. I feel strongly that I am doubly blessed,” says Mr. Islam.

A philanthropic foundation that he and his wife run – The Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman Foundation – has started from this year, a fellowship for an Indian journalist to train for six months at the Missouri School of Journalism and work on the staff of a U.S. news outlet.

Reaching America at the age of 15, Mr. Islam studied Computer Science at the University of Colorado, and, after working for a few years, bought business for $45,000 in 1994. Within 13 years, the business grew from one employee to more than 3,000 employees and $300 million in revenue. Mr. Islam sold the company in 2007, and set the up the foundation. “I give because I believe firmly in what President Kennedy said: To whom much is given, much is expected,” he says.

He has good words about U.S.

Watching the rise of Islamophobia in the U.S., Mr. Islam is upset and troubled, but underscores the fact that America has been a welcoming country for Muslims always. “I never faced discrimination in America. I believe in general Muslims as a group have done relatively well economically but not necessarily in terms of social acceptance and political clout or participations,” he says. “I firmly believe my story can only happen in America. It is America that provided me ladders of opportunity to succeed. My story shows the inclusiveness and openness and qualities of America.”

Mr. Islam believes with Mr. Trump as President, the U.S has entered “a dark chapter in our nation’s history.” “Trump’s ban on refugees and immigrants from some Muslim countries are shameful, wrong, divisive, deeply troubling, and unconstitutional. It undermines our values of freedom and tolerance,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 6:00:19 AM |

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