Local entrepreneur and Cleveland State University alumnus, Monte Ahuja, has donated $10 million to CSU to fund scholarships and an endowed professorship in business. The announcement was made during a special celebration today in the University's Student Center, marking the largest gift in the University's 47-year history. Before the event, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to name the College of Business the Monte Ahuja College of Business.
The majority of the money will be earmarked for scholarships in business, with a portion dedicated for scholarships in engineering. The gift will also fund an endowed professorship in business, the Monte Ahuja Endowed Chair of Global Business. The endowed chair will enable CSU to enhance its focus on global business by recruiting a leading scholar in the field.
"Mr. Ahuja has been an extraordinary champion of Cleveland State for many years, supporting the University through generous financial contributions and hard work as a University trustee," said CSU President Ronald M. Berkman. "This gift will play a significant role in advancing the University's mission of access by providing essential scholarships for a great many students."
Mr. Ahuja said his gift comes in support of President Berkman's leadership and progress of transforming Cleveland State University. He emphasized the University's focus on engaged learning and student success.
"CSU has a very special meaning in my life, and I feel extremely fortunate and privileged for this recognition," Mr. Ahuja said. "Our investment towards students pursuing higher education and a path to success is of utmost importance to my family and me, and we are very pleased with this decision."
While enrolled in a CSU marketing class in the mid 1970s, Mr. Ahuja developed a business plan that would later serve as the model for his successful transmission supply business, Transtar Industries Inc., a leading distributor of transmission replacement parts. The plan earned Mr. Ahuja an A in the class and sparked a lasting legacy that has benefited the community in numerous ways through the continued generosity of the Ahuja family.
From 1992 to 1998, Mr. Ahuja served as chairman of Cleveland State's Board of Trustees. During that time, he oversaw the development of the College of Business and the Law Library in what was called the 17th-18th Street Block Project. It was the University's most ambitious expansion at the time, paving the way for many of the new campus developments completed in recent years.