Arif Efendi Donates $200,000 to Norwich University as a Testament to its Impact on his Life
Businessman Arif Efendi has made a $200,000 donation to his alma mater, Norwich University, and continues to support the university’s Technology Endowment with a $500 monthly contribution.
The contribution was dedicated to Norwich University’s Bicentennial campaign to name the atrium in the university’s Mack Hall after Frank Vanecek.
Frank Vanecek was the dean of the School of Business and Management when Arif Efendi attended Norwich. He is now the senior vice president for Student Affairs and Technology at the university.
“Professor Vanecek was always supportive,” says Mr. Efendi. “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. I credit Professor Vanecek for playing a big part in making sure I finished what I started at Norwich.”
Mr. Efendi also makes a monthly contribution of $500 to Norwich University’s Technology Endowment.
“I think Norwich, being a military institution, should be at the forefront of technological innovation. It is a different proposition now from when I was first at Norwich University when the idea of war was sending feet on the ground. Now, most of it seems as if it is all tech- and cyber-related,” Arif Efendi explained and continued:
“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 credits Norwich University with pushing him out of his comfort zone
Despite having some difficult first months at Norwich University, Arif Efendi enjoyed his time there.
“It took me out of my comfort zone and really tested me as a person. 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 said.
Halfway through his studies, Efendi decided not to commission into the military.
After graduating from Norwich University in 2009, Efendi began working in investment banking, sports, entertainment, and his family’s commodities business.
He has always been open about the positive impact Norwich University has had on his life. His gift to the university is a way of showing his gratitude.
“I just think it is an important facet for any organization, individual, or entrepreneur,” says Efendi. “If you can help causes or institutions that have helped develop you as a person, then why not?”
Nurturing the American character
Norwich University is a private military college in Northfield, Vermont. It is the oldest private and senior military college in the country.
The institution was founded in 1819 in Norwich, Vermont as the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy.
Today, the university offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees on-site and online. About 2,600 students attend studies on campus, while 1,400 people study online.
One of the missions of Norwich University is to nurture an American character in its students. The institution does so by teaching its students the values and principles that the United States of America was established upon.
The university also focuses on teaching students about the diverse cultures of the world that have led to the world we live in today. In connection, Norwich University takes pride in teaching its students how to understand and respect all points of view.
Donations from Arif Efendi and other alumni
At Norwich University, students are also taught to share and to not only make themselves the beneficiaries of their achievements.
“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 university writes on its website.
The institution prides itself on its close ties to its former students, like those forged between Arif Efendi and the university.
Over the years, the alumni have come to the university’s rescue multiple times through personal efforts or by giving much-needed resources.
According to materials published by the university, ‘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.’
For Efendi and other former students, they have indelibly become part of Norwich University, sharing in its deep history, traditions and pride.