> Mowafaghian ups commitment to SFU by $1.5 million

Mowafaghian ups commitment to SFU by $1.5 million

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Hamid Eshghi, Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation, 604.984.2899
Erica Branda, University Advancement, 778.782.3353, ebranda@sfu.ca

October 2, 2008
At a recent dinner celebrating the opening of the Djavad Mowafaghian Atrium and the Djavad Mowafaghian Lecture Theatre at Blusson Hall – the new home of SFU’s health sciences faculty – philanthropist Djavad Mowafaghian surprised guests by announcing an additional $1.5 million gift to support research in children’s health.

This follows his donation announced last January of $4 million: $2.5 million to support research in children’s health policy, and $1.5 million to construct and outfit a Level 3 containment laboratory for infectious disease research.

“Djavad Mowafaghian’s generosity will allow our researchers to contribute to improving the health and development of children worldwide,” says SFU president and vice chancellor Michael Stevenson. “By increasing his support, he has demonstrated confidence in our research team and a strong belief that their research and teaching can make a tremendous difference.”

Backgrounder: the djavad mowafaghian foundation

The djavad mowafaghian foundation’s mandate is to better the lives of children through health and education.

Personal Background:
Djavad Mowafaghian earned his fortune as a developer in Iran before moving to Vancouver in 1987. His father passed away when he was a young child, and he was raised in a modest household by his mother. He attributes his passion for giving back to the community to her influence.

Over the past thirty years, Djavad Mowafaghian has demonstrated that commitment by funding various philanthropic projects and donating to various charities throughout the world. In 2003, Djavad Mowafaghian created and funded the djavad mowafaghian foundation to guarantee the continuation of his philanthropy.

Djavad Mowafaghian’s international philanthropic contributions include:
  • More than 70 scholarships for international students in London
  • the construction of four “pressure rooms” for bone morrow transplants in Geneva, Switzerland
  • the construction of 16 kindergarten to grade 12 schools and eight trade and technical schools in Iran 
  • a heart surgery centre in Iran
  • construction of six schools and dormitories for the visually and hearing impaired in Iran

Local contributions include:
  • $6 million in 2004 to the BC Children’s Hospital for a 50,000-square-foot redevelopment of the hospital’s oncology unit and adjacent outpatient clinics. At the time it was the largest donation from an individual in the history of the Children’s Hospital. The Djavad Mowafaghian Wing was completed in 2007.
  • $750,000 in 2005 to Surrey’s Centre for Child Development, providing intensive therapy, child care and support services to more than 1,800 children per year throughout the South Fraser Region.