Manu And Rika Shah Endow Chair In Chapman University’s B-School
India-West Staff Reporter
ORANGE, CA – The Shah Happiness Foundation has made a generous gift to establish The Shah Family Endowed Chair in Innovativeness at Chapman University’s George L. Argryos College of Business and Economics. This philanthropic initiative aims to stimulate innovation, education, and research at the intersection of high-tech thinking and low-tech industries, a press release said.
The Shah Family Endowed Chair will play a pivotal role in fostering innovative thinking through a dedicated full-semester course titled “Creativity and Innovation — Corporate Entrepreneurship.” Additionally, the endowed chair will actively engage in research and service activities, investigating the successful application of high-tech thinking to low-tech industries.
Recently honored with the Business Excellence Award by Argryos College, Matt Parlow, Chapman’s executive vice president, and chief advancement officer expressed satisfaction with the partnership, stating, “We couldn’t be more pleased that such esteemed business leaders are partnering with Chapman in this endeavor.”
The endowment also includes plans to provide internships to Chapman students, creating a collaborative bridge between academia and industry. These internships will offer hands-on experience, reflecting the transformative journey of the Shahs in the surfacing industry and the founding of their company, M S International, Inc. (MSI).
Henrik Cronqvist, dean of Argryos College, highlighted Manu Shah’s approach at MSI, stating, “What Manu did at MSI was apply high-tech thinking and innovativeness to a low-tech stone industry.” The endowment aims to express the Shah family’s commitment to education, innovation, and social impact.
The Shah Family Endowed Chair will organize events featuring local and national leaders who have successfully applied high-tech thinking to low-tech industries, providing students with invaluable learning opportunities. The initiative will culminate in an annual awards program, The Shah Family Awards for Innovativeness, recognizing leaders in this domain.
Chapman President Daniele C. Struppa expressed excitement about providing students with exposure to advanced technology in traditional sectors, equipping them with essential skills and an innovative mindset for success in these industries.
The endowed chair aligns with the Shahs’ longstanding dedication to turning dreams into reality, exemplified through their significant impact with the Shah Happiness Foundation. Founded in 1975, MSI, their company, is a leading supplier of North American flooring, countertop, wall tile, and hardscaping products. Headquartered in Orange, CA, MSI maintains over 45 state-of-the-art showrooms and distribution centers across the U.S. and Canada.
In addition to the endowed chair, Manu and Rika recently had a room named after them in Beckman Hall, titled the “Shah Happiness Room for Innovativeness.”