Young entrepreneur makes $1 million gift to Fox School of Business
The school's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute suite will be named after Raza Bokhari
Physician-turned-entrepreneur Raza Bokhari, 39, started his “great adventure” 16 years ago when he came to the United States from Pakistan and took his first job at a startup pathology lab in North Philadelphia. Located at Fifth and Lehigh, the lab wasn’t far from Temple University, a school he knew little about at the time.
|Temple alumnus Raza Bokhari (left), president and CEO of Lakewood Pathology Associates and chairman of the board of Parkway Clinical Laboratories, has pledged $1 million to the University’s Fox School of Business. At the Nov. 30 groundbreaking ceremony for the school's new Alter Hall building, Bokhari joined Richard J. Fox (right), Temple President Ann Weaver Hart, Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat, Gisela and Dennis Alter, and others. (Photo by Joseph V. Labolito / University Photography
Bokhari later became acquainted with Temple and earned his executive M.B.A. from the university in 2001. Recently, he gave back to his former North Philadelphia neighbor when he pledged $1 million to the Fox School of Business.
In recognition of his gift, the suite housing the school’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute will be named after him in the new, state-of-the-art Fox School facility, Alter Hall. The suite will serve as the hub of staff, faculty and student interaction for the IEI, the institute that promotes entrepreneurship at Temple.
At the Nov. 30 groundbreaking for Alter Hall, Temple President Ann Weaver Hart characterized Bokhari as “a young graduate of Fox’s M.B.A. … who captures the spirit of entrepreneurship that has become Fox’s and Temple’s calling card.”
Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat publicly thanked Bokhari, saying, “As soon as he graduated with his Fox E.M.B.A., immediately Raza began giving to The Fox School, not only of his treasury, but also of his very valuable time.
“I can’t think of anyone who better showcases the power of a Fox M.B.A. than Raza,” Porat said.
Raza also credits his education for his success. “The education I received in the M.B.A. program has helped me tremendously in my career. Through my gift, I hope that many other people like me will have the same opportunities I had.”
Working 20-hour days during his first years in the United States, Bokhari immersed himself in learning the business and eventually was recruited to turn around a small, struggling pathology lab in New Jersey, Lakewood Pathology Associates. Not only did he turn it around, he later bought it and is now the president and CEO of a revitalized company that has expanded into 25 states and was just named one of the 100 fastest-growing privately held companies in the region (Philadelphia 100, 2006).
“Like many Temple students, I didn’t come from a family of business people, but Temple helped teach me what I needed to know,” says Bokhari, who is also chairman of the board of Parkway Clinical Laboratories, a full-service clinical reference laboratory in Bensalem, Pa.
Immediately after graduating from Temple, Bokhari was named The Fox School’s “Entrepreneur in Residence” for the 2001-02 academic year.
“I directed my donation to Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute because it’s there that I gathered the wisdom and strength to transform my entrepreneurial passion into demonstrated business success,” Bokhari said. “The institute is an incubator for bright young people who are tomorrow’s innovators and business leaders. We need more programs like it so that we can remain competitive as a city, region and country.”
Widely recognized for his passion, innovation and entrepreneurial zeal, Bokhari is a past recipient of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s coveted “40 Under 40” award. In addition to his business responsibilities, Bokhari is the president for the Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee, a national, membership-based nonprofit whose mission is to advance and strengthen United States-Pakistan relations. He is a much-sought-after speaker and has been interviewed by media outlets locally, nationally and internationally.
With a 109 percent growth rate over the past three years, Lakewood Pathology Associates has quickly expanded and recently received $50 million in venture funding to further fuel growth from a Chicago-based private equity group, Water Street Healthcare Partners.
“When I first came to Philadelphia, I didn’t know a lot about Temple University,” Bokhari said. “However, I soon came to appreciate the important educational role Temple plays for students both from the Delaware Valley and across the country. Later, as I worked toward my M.B.A., I learned that Temple has one of the most highly ranked business schools and M.B.A. programs in the country.
“It’s not only a pleasure to support Temple, I feel as if it’s my obligation,” he continued. “I have been very successful in the United States, and Temple played a large role in that success.”
For more information about the Fox School's new Alter Hall building, visit http://www.fox.temple.edu/alter.
- By Lisa Z. Meritz and Andrew Smith