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George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Shrivastava Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Advances Culture of Inclusive Excellence

Written by Greg Johnson on .

Shrivastava1 Sumeet 300x286At George Mason University, anyone, regardless of background or financial situation is presented the opportunity to attend, learn, and excel. Mason students develop the skills needed to establish a new pattern of success for their generation and the ones to follow. Long a university point of pride, it remains a constant work in progress. One reason a high-quality education is so readily available at Mason, and particularly at the School of Business, is thanks to a robust pool of benefactors. Sumeet Shrivastava, EMBA ’94, has been dedicated to the success of the School and University ever since he became a Patriot. Shrivastava, also president of the George Mason University Alumni Association, has established the Shrivastava Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Endowment to recognize student leaders from underrepresented groups, who are contributing to diversity and inclusion at the University.

“What I hope this scholarship can create is a networked ecosystem, where recipients go on to successful careers and then connect with the recipients who follow them,” says Shrivastava. At other institutions, students from underrepresented backgrounds are often left behind without proper resources and support, but scholarships like the Shrivastava Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Endowment ensure that doesn’t happen at Mason. The scholarship’s aim is to achieve success that can be passed down through generations, inspired by the legacy of Sumeet Shrivastava’s late father, SP Shrivastava, who was an award-winning business owner, Mason adjunct professor, and member of the Mason Foundation Board of Trustees.

“When my dad passed away in the summer of 2017, we decided that one of the ways we wanted to honor his legacy was through a scholarship,” says Sumeet. After last summer’s nationwide movement and renewed emphasis on racial equality and equity, he decided it was the right time to focus the scholarship on those from underserved backgrounds. “It was my dad’s legacy to help everyone, regardless of where they were from, to gain that access to capital and opportunity to succeed,” he says. Through perseverance and dedication to education, SP Shrivastava, who grew up in poverty in India (which delayed his education multiple years), became a prominent business leader in Northern Virginia, all while contributing his time and treasure to students. Those students’ growing successes are now a major part of his legacy.SP Shrivastava 300x343

For Sumeet Shrivastava, in giving to his alma mater, his broader emphasis is centered on continuing to shape an environment where people from all walks of life can become leaders. Mason’s diversity and inclusion, further augmented by the scholarship endowment, is helping to create a more inclusive workforce, with more people of color sitting on boards and serving as executives. The immigrant story of SP Shrivastava is a microcosm of the George Mason University experience, where first-generation students and students from every background share in pursuit of knowledge and advancement. His story is the American dream, and now his son Sumeet is continuing his legacy in building a culture of inclusive excellence.