Philanthropic Updates from The University of Texas at Dallas

Graves Charitable Foundation Gift Expands Jindal School’s International Efforts

By Daniel Steele  |  February 28, 2019

The Naveen Jindal School of Management will benefit from two new endowments designed to expand the school’s study abroad programs and forge new partnerships with academic and economic institutions in developing countries.

Established with a $1 million gift from the Ann and Jack Graves Charitable Foundation and supplemented with matching funds from the Jindal School, both endowments promise to enrich students’ experiences at UT Dallas through increased opportunities for intercultural collaboration.

“We are very grateful for the foundation’s generous support of these important programs at the Jindal School,” said Dr. Hasan Pirkul, Caruth Chair and Jindal School dean. “Ensuring that our students are empowered to broaden their horizons and understand the impact that their talents can make in the world is a part of our school’s mission.”

The Ann and Jack Graves Foundation Global Business Scholars Fund will provide scholarship support for international student travel and study abroad experiences, with a particular focus on travel to Africa. Jindal School students studying global business are required to complete one study abroad experience during the course of their degree, which may be fulfilled through a semester-long exchange program, an international fellowship or by taking two global experience courses at UT Dallas. Scholarship funding will help these and other students expand their academic and professional horizons.

Mike Redeker MBA’97, MA’01, who helps administer his family foundation, was inspired by his own experiences as a student to support study abroad efforts at the Jindal School.

“The first semester of my MBA program, my professor announced a trip to Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong. Having never been outside the United States, I signed up for the adventure,” Redeker said. “When we arrived, we met with high-ranking government leaders and multinational business executives. The experience opened my eyes not only to the unique opportunities of emerging markets but also to an appreciation for efficient markets. Most of all, it helped me to see people not as ‘other’ but as fellow human beings who want the best for their children.”

The foundation’s second endowment will help leverage Jindal School expertise in order to promote economic advancement in developing countries, specifically targeting African economies. The Ann and Jack Graves Foundation Society of Emerging Economies’ Development Fund will support a wide range of initiatives, including academic conferences, new partnerships between UT Dallas and international universities and research projects by faculty and students.

“The reason we directed funding to UT Dallas is to employ the tools available in the Jindal School to address how we can best help the world’s poor,” Redeker said. “I believe that UTD can partner with universities in developing economies to listen to the needs of communities, help them develop sustainable business solutions and help measure the results so we can constantly improve the model.”

UT Dallas, which boasts one of the most diverse campuses in the United States with international students comprising around 20 percent of the student body, has offered more than 35 faculty-led international trips to 16 countries over the past 15 years through the Jindal School.

The University’s emphasis on educating tomorrow’s leaders while providing students with a global perspective on their disciplines played a key role in the creation of these new endowments.

“We see UT Dallas as a gathering place for like-minded students, faculty and business leaders who want to engage their gifts, talents and skills to be a blessing to those in need around the world,” Redeker said.