Articles

Generous Naming Gift Results in a Name Change for the Doctor of Business Administration offices, Now Known as the Mohamad Ali Hasbini DBA Suite

By Keith Morelli

The Hasbinis, Grandon Gill, Moez Limayem, Judy Genshaft, Ralph Wilcox

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TAMPA (Feb. 13, 2017) -- The University of South Florida is the Hasbini family's home away from home. Both Mohamad Ali Hasbini, his wife, Sawsan, have earned degrees here and their three children either have USF degrees or are currently taking classes. The patriarch himself is working on his third degree, a doctorate of business administration.

He reluctantly admits one thing though: "There's nothing worse than having to ask your kids for help on your homework."

About 100 people, mostly doctoral candidates, faculty and staff, gathered outside the Doctor of Business Administration offices, now known officially as the Mohamad Ali Hasbini DBA Suite after a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week. Hasbini donated money that paid for renovation and expansion of the facilities.

The Lebanon native began his educational quest at USF 40 years ago, earning a bachelor's degree in accounting and then an MBA with a concentration in finance two years later. He taught accounting for a few years and in 2015, he became part of the inaugural DBA class and later this year is scheduled to graduate from the department that now bears his name.

"A doctoral degree always has been a dream of mine," he said just before cutting the ribbon to the suite late Friday afternoon, "and now my dream is coming true."

An education at USF is a tradition with the Hasbini family.

Sawsan Hasbini earned an MBA with a finance concentration from USF in 1994 and the couple's daughters, Leena and Zeina, both are graduates of USF. Continuing in the family tradition, Hasbini's son, Jad, became a member of the Bulls Business Community this fall.

"I'm just happy Ali didn't ask for a family discount," joked Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem, who thanked Hasbini for his contributions and added that the renovations paid for by the gift will make the program stronger.

Also on hand for the dedication was USF President Judy Genshaft.

"I am thrilled to be here to say congratulations to everyone," she said. "This is really phenomenal."

The naming gift was just the latest in a long list of donations Hasbini has made to the Muma College of Business. He has funded scholarships for students to study abroad and helped establish the Robert M. Keith Endowed Teaching Professorship in the USF Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy.

Hasbini, who oversees a portfolio of multiple real estate and industrial development businesses, including a home-building company, remained soft spoken during the ceremony.

"I'm a low profile kind of guy," he said.