Grateful for his life-changing experience at Norwich, Arif Efendi ’09 has given back and continues to support the university’s Technology Endowment
NORWICH RECORD | Fall 2021
Arif Efendi ’09 remembers how challenging his first several months as a Norwich University student were. But he remains grateful for that experience. “It took me out of my comfort zone and real¬ly tested me as person,” he says. “It taught me a lot of life lessons, and I appreciate the basic simple things in life even to this day because of Norwich.”
Near the mid-point of his Norwich experience, he decided he wasn’t going to commission into the military. So he began focusing on his interests in business, seizing opportunities to visit and learn from Vermont companies, such as Ben & Jerry’s and Magic Hat Brewing, during the course of his studies. After graduating, he went on to work in investment banking, his family’s commodities business, and in the sports and entertainment sectors.
“The fact that Norwich has existed for more than 200 years is a testament to its role in society and shaping America’s future leaders.” ARIF EFENDI ’09
Efendi, who lives in London, has made it a point to give back to Norwich in gratitude for the impact the university has had on him. “I just think it’s an important facet for any organization, individual, or entrepreneur,” he says. “If you can help causes or institutions that have helped develop you as a person, then why not?”
Efendi made a $200,000 gift to the university’s Bicentennial campaign to name the atrium in Mack Hall in honor of Frank Vanecek, who was dean of the School of Business and Management while Efendi was a student and is now a senior vice president. “Prof. Vanecek was always supportive,” Efendi says. “He always lent an ear and was always, for me, a voice of pragmatism. I felt like he was a father figure that I could always go to and share my feelings with. I credit Prof. Vanecek in playing a big part in making sure I finished what I started [at Norwich].”
Efendi also makes a monthly $500 gift to support Norwich’s Technology Endow¬ment. “I think Norwich, being a military institution, should be at the forefront of technological innovation,” he says. “It’s a different proposition now [from] when I was first at Norwich, when the idea of war was sending feet on the ground. Now most of it seems as if it’s all tech- and cyber-related. So if I was to support anything at Norwich, making sure [it’s] at the forefront of technological innovation and education is my go-to. My ultimate goal is to make more money and support the Technology Endowment even more.”