Sumeet Shrivastava (left), with his father SP Shrivastava, at an award ceremony in the 1990s. Photo provided.
At George Mason University, anyone, regardless of background or financial situation, is presented the opportunity to attend, learn, and excel. 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, MBA ’94, who has been dedicated to the success of the school and university ever since he became a Patriot, has established the Shrivastava Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Endowment to recognize student leaders from underrepresented groups who are contributing to diversity and inclusion at Mason.
“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, who also serves as president of the George Mason University Alumni Association.
The aim of the Shrivastava Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Endowment is to achieve success that can be passed down through generations, inspired by the legacy of Sumeet’s late father, SP Shrivastava. The elder Shrivastava grew up in poverty in India, delaying his own education for multiple years. After arriving in the United States, he eventually became a prominent business leader in Northern Virginia, Mason adjunct professor, and a member of the George Mason University Foundation Board of Trustees, all while contributing his time and treasure to students. Those students’ growing successes are now a major part of his legacy.
“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 sparked 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.
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 their 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.
Greg Johnson, January 5th, 2022. Adapted from original story.