By Seth Gonzales
The Texas Catholic
IRVING— Business is getting a major boost at the University of Dallas.
On Oct. 24, university President Thomas W. Keefe announced a $12 million gift to the university’s business program, made by Dallas entrepreneurs and alumni Satish and Yasmin Gupta.
“The donors we are recognizing here today exemplify the founding excellence named in the university’s mission, both as professionals and as civic servants,” Keefe said during a news conference. “We are graced to have them as part of our family.”
The donation is the largest in the university’s 57-year history and will be used to fund a new three-story, 50,000-square-foot facility to be named SB International Hall, which will house the school’s newly renamed Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business. The new building is slated to open in the fall of 2015.
The gift comes as the business program recently gained highly sought-after accreditation from the American Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In addition, the university’s student body grew to record levels this year, including a freshman class of 380 students, the largest in the school’s history.
“We are in the midst of a renaissance for the College of Business, as well as the entire university,” Keefe said. “The University of Dallas was founded on a vision of academic excellence that forms students and leaders committed to fostering principles, moral judgment and mastering the knowledge and skills required for professional excellence.”
Satish and Yasmin Gupta arrived in the United States as immigrants from India in 1979. Both enrolled and later obtained MBAs from the university’s Graduate School of Management. The two were also employed as student workers on campus. While a student, Satish received permission to use the philosophy department’s phone, typewriter, and fax machine. It was in those offices that he launched SB International, now a global supplier of prime steel and metal products and one of the largest international suppliers and processors of pipe and tubing for oil and gas drilling.
“When I got here as a student, I realized that this university had embraced us in our new home, which was a life-changing experience for my wife and myself,” Gupta said. “I am delighted to announce our contribution to fund the Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business. We hope this will become the starting point for students from all over the world to come, learn, and flourish.”
For Beatriz Zunuaga Gomez, a sports and entertainment marketing student from Colombia, Gupta’s story and gift serves as an inspiration for her and other international students.
“If they were able to do this, why couldn’t I,” said Gómez, who is entering her second year in the business program. “They have an amazing story and its inspiring to see them give back to the university.”
The University of Dallas began offering courses in business and economics at its founding in 1956. In 1969, the Graduate School of Management was borne and in 2003, undergraduate courses were added in the new College of Business, which current has more than 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled.