Colonial Couple Makes History

Asghar Mostafa, BS ’81, MS ’82, remembers GW not only as the place where he met his wife, Holly Mostafa nee Hartman, BA ’86, but also as a “tremendous learning experience.”

“I got a great foundation at GW,” says Asghar, who attributes much of his success to the university.

GW's Science and Engineering Hall opened in January.

GW’s Science and Engineering Hall opened in January.

Now, over three decades later, the couple has helped to build a different kind of foundation: that of the newly opened Science and Engineering Hall (SEH).

In 2005, the Mostafas made an inspiring $1,000,000 pledge in support of the new facilities, which opened to GW students, faculty, and researchers in January. Why such generous support for their alma mater?

“As a young man when I come to the United States, GW was my first home,” he explains.

Asghar is an active advocate for the School of Engineering and Applied Science, serving on the SEAS National Advisory Council as well as the SEAS Campaign Leadership Committee, and he has demonstrated his commitment to using his talents to help GW advance as a leader in science and engineering.

An entrepreneur whose career in telecommunications has followed an upward trajectory, Mostafa moved from his first job, with IBM, to the world of start-ups. In the past 15 years he has created several new companies; most recently, he funded a fiber optics firm called Vinci, which he sold in 2004.

“What I have learned from GW tremendously helped me build the career that I have,” he says.

His success and loyalty have not gone unnoticed. Asghar received GW’s Distinguished Entrepreneurial Achievement Award in 2008 and the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 2010.

Holly Mostafa, BA '86, and Asghar Mostafa

Holly Mostafa, BA ’86, and Asghar Mostafa, BS ’81, MS ’82

About his tremendous pledge to SEH, Asghar says, “If I help start things off with my effort, hopefully more people will join in and we can go from talking to action.” And indeed thanks in part to Asghar and his wife’s generosity, Science and Engineering Hall is now open, ushering in a new chapter of the university’s growth into a research-intensive global institution.

To recognize their transformative generosity, an electrical and computer engineering laboratory will be named the Asghar and Holly Mostafa Lab, and the SEAS dean’s conference room will bear their names as well.

The couple couldn’t have predicted the lasting impact the university would have on their lives when they came as undergraduate students, but even three decades later, the Mostafa are continuing to make history at GW.


Visit to learn more about how gifts supporting GW facilities and research help GW students, faculty, and researchers break new ground.

Author: GW Impact

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