Farzaneh Brothers Donate $1.6 Million to Oklahoma State for Iranian Studies

February 13, 2015, Washington D.C. – The Oklahoma State University will be expanding their Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies program thanks to Iranian American business owners and philanthropists Mohammad and Jalal Farzaneh. 

The $1.6 million gift – coupled with matching funds from Boone Pickens and the Oklahoma Legislature – will support a faculty chair and four professorships within the program, allowing faculty members and honorees to explore their various disciplines through the lens of Iran and the Persian Gulf.

“Iran is a fascinating country with one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations;” Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis said, “OSU applauds the Farzaneh brothers for their generosity and vision for international studies. This gift will help us better prepare students to succeed in a global economy.” 

The Farzaneh brothers came to the United States from Iran in 1978 to attend the University of Oklahoma, where they would eventually earn their bachelors and master’s degrees – making Oklahoma their new home in the process. The two founded their own construction business – Home Creations – now the largest home-building company in the state of Oklahoma.

The Farzaneh brothers have generously supported numerous Iranian American organizations and causes, including PAAIA.  In 2014, they helped sponsor A Thousand Years of the Persian Book exhibition at the Library of Congress, which showcased the important role the Persian language has played in world history.

Education is a top priority for the brothers. “For the past 36 years Americans did not have any meaningful relations with Iranians and do not know the warm Iranian culture,” Jalal Farzaneh told PAAIA. “Education is the key to reducing tension and animosity between Iranians and Americans which will result in positive people-to-people exchange and trust.”

In addition to these efforts to increase knowledge of the Persian community, Mohammad and Jalal Farzaneh have also worked to improve and aid the city of Norman, Oklahoma – giving back to the community they believe gave so much to them.  Jalal Farzaneh expresses this sentiment effectively: “As Iranian Americans it is our duty to build upon the society that has warmly accepted us, and what a better way to give back than educating our fellow Americans of the beautiful Persian culture and heritage through endowment.”

The Farzaneh brothers were also the recipients of the 2013 Oklahoma City Humanitarian Award from the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice for their leadership in creating Oklahoma City University’s Endowed Chair in Islamic Studies and for their efforts in bringing Iranian music and culture to the Oklahoma City metro area through concert, film, and other community programs.

You are donating to : PAAIA, Inc.

How much would you like to donate?
$15 $25 $50
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note