Source: Andrew Zender, 785-532-7648, andrewz@found.ksu.edu
Website: http://found.ksu.edu

Friday, Dec. 16, 2011

A world of difference: Alum's gift to help architecture, planning and design students study abroad

MANHATTAN -- In today's global society, gaining an understanding of the world through international experience is an increasingly important element of a university education.

That's where Kansas State University alumnus Ben Hakimian comes in. Through a $120,000 gift establishing three study abroad scholarships, Hakimian, founder and president of Hakimian Organization, a New York City real estate development company, is helping students in the university's College of Architecture, Planning and Design with the opportunity to study internationally.

A 1967 graduate of the college, Hakimian felt study abroad was the one component missing from his college education and that it's an integral part of an architecture, planning and design curriculum that prepares students not just for design careers -- but for life. Hakimian said giving back is his way of reinvesting what he received as a student.

"The College of Architecture, Planning and Design students are creative and innovative by nature, and studying abroad will broaden their vocabulary of design. But that creativity should not be limited only to architecture -- you can use it in many ways in all aspects of your life," Hakimian said.

"I always appreciate the period when I was at Kansas State University so much because I have used that character and that creativity throughout my life. That was a special time of my life, and if I can give back some of it, it would be my pleasure," he said.

Philanthropic contributions to K-State are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The foundation staff works with university partners to build lifelong relationships with alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students through involvement and investment in the university.