Phoenix Suns co-owner donates $25M to ASU Thunderbird School for global education initiative

Posted at 8:55 AM, Jan 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 10:55:37-05

In one of the largest donations in school history, Valley businessman and minority owner of the Phoenix Suns Francis Najafi and his wife Dionne have donated $25 million to Arizona State University's Thunderbird School of Global Management.

The donation is for a new global initiative, which was an idea that originated with the Najafis. The goal is to offer an accredited online Global Management and Entrepreneurship Certificate, consisting of five courses in 40 different languages, helping people in undereducated parts of the world gain 21st-century skills to catapult their professional careers.

The students in the Francis and Dionne Najafi Global Initiative will receive a badge for each course they complete and a 15-unit accredited certificate upon successful completion of all five courses, which they will then be able to transfer to Thunderbird, ASU, or any other accredited university in the world.

Not only are educational opportunities fewer in most parts of the world, Francis Najafi said that outside the English-speaking world, there is very little emphasis on business education. He hopes that through this initiative peoples’ lives can be transformed.

Read more of this story from the Business Journal.