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UTD Dedicated the Auditorium to Dr. Basheer and Shakila Ahmed on September 23, 2022

To leave a legacy to inspire generations of students, Dr. Basheer Ahmed and his wife, Dr. Shakila Ahmed, donated $1 million to The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) to establish a distinguished chair in the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics that will support its multicultural students in their students and innovations, reported The American Muslim Today, Oct 6, 2022. 

Speaking at the Sept. 30 dedication, Basheer said, “I always had the desire to support the institutions which promote teachings of science and technology. Allah has given me the opportunity to accomplish this goal by supporting UT Dall,as which is a great teaching institution and has a great potential to be a top-grade university.”

Basheer, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center Southwestern Medical School for several years before moving on to serve as the director of psychiatry departments in various Fort Worth hospitals, retired from the practice in 2005. He helped found the Institute of Medieval and Post-Medieval Studies, the Institute of Quranic Knowledge and Intra-Faith Religious Acceptance, and the Muslim Community Center for Human Services, of which he currently serves as chairman emeritus.

His wife Shakila is a board-certified radiologist.

In 1968, the couple migrated to the US from Hyderabad, India.

Dane Richardson (assistant dean, School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics) said this is the first time the university has dedicated a structure to a practicing Muslim. UTD services a significant Asian-American population (32%) and has an international population of 17% with students from South Asia, China, Iran, and Vietnam.

Azhar Azeez (CEO, Musim Aid USA; a former ISNA president), highlighting the Ahmeds’ extensive list of organizations they have founded and their efforts to build interfaith relationships, said, “They both are shining examples of commitment, dedication and outstanding service to humanity and our beloved community. All their life they have strived to build bridges and break barriers.”

Dr. David Hyndman (dean, School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics) said the gift will fund opportunities for growth in science and mathematics, as well as enable thousands of students to engage in research.

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