ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y., Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Bard College has received a gift of $5 million for its endowment from alumnus and trustee Mostafiz ShahMohammed ’97. This generous unrestricted gift to Bard’s endowment will strengthen the college’s ability to support everything from scholarships to academic programs.
“Mostafiz’s gift is remarkable and inspirational,” said Bard College President Leon Botstein. “We hope it will inspire others among our alumni/ae to join in to build Bard’s endowment. All of us at Bard are deeply grateful for his generosity and leadership.”
“Bard had a profound impact on me, and I am a product of Bard,” said ShahMohammed. “Bard not only did a lot for my personal and intellectual development but it embodies the best values of our civilization.”
He describes Bard as “a hidden gem” and an innovative college that has always been decades ahead of its time, and notes that scholarships from Bard enabled him to come to the US from Bangladesh at the age of 17. “It’s been incredible to see Bard students’ passion for life, their sense of purpose, their empathy and will to drive social justice forward, their care for the future of our planet, and their determination to stand up for what they believe in, no matter the consequence. All these aspects are embedded in Bard culture.”
“I am thrilled to make further contributions and help write the next chapter for the college. I want to help Bard become stronger financially and to continue its academic excellence and free-thinking mission,” he adds.
“There is an urgent need to develop a new generation of entrepreneurial leaders who can bring about transformational changes in our ecologically precarious world,” ShahMohammed explains. “To effectively tackle today’s biggest social and technological challenges, we need to think critically about their human context. Bard’s multidisciplinary and innovative liberal arts education is perfectly suited to nurture aspiring entrepreneurs who can lead the current technological revolution and act as scientists, sociologists, artists, musicians, and philosophers. By cultivating a holistic and long-term perspective, entrepreneurs can create tremendous value for themselves and society based on creative, responsible, and sustainable strategies.”
ShahMohammed is an entrepreneur and an investor. He founded various Amur and Panthera entities since 2008 as private investment firms and operating companies focusing on the transportation, industrial, commercial finance, and the new economy sectors globally. Since 2015, he has been the chairman and CEO of Amur Equipment Finance, one of the top three independent equipment finance companies serving small businesses in the US. Before founding Amur, ShahMohammed was a managing director in charge of the Structured Asset Finance Group at UBS. Earlier in his career, he worked as a trader, investment banker, and structured finance consultant at various reputable financial firms. ShahMohammed is a trustee of Bard College and a member of its executive committee. He is also a board member of the Levy Economics Institute, a nonpartisan public policy think tank. He cofounded ShahGustafsson Foundation, which provides support to economically challenged and vulnerable communities around the world with a focus on climate change, education, and disaster relief.
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 parklike acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with majors in nearly 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 11 programs; eight early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 160-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.