Datacard Chairman, UB Alumnus, Pledges $1 Million to UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Release Date: November 1, 2000 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. - Global business leader and engineer Hatim A. Tyabji, chairman of DataCard, has pledged a $1 million bequest to the University at Buffalo in honor of his wife.

Tyabji, who earned his master's degree in electrical engineering from UB in 1969, is establishing an endowed fund for an engineering professorship, the Durriya H. Tyabji Professor of Computer Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Tyabji said that for him, the gift "represents a very personal statement on the paramount importance of the family," and attributed the success that he has achieved to the support that he has received from his wife and their sons, Abizer and Salim.

He said that his wife has been "the anchor throughout my personal and professional life" and the endowed professorship is a tribute to her "life-long interest in the achievement of excellence through education." Durriya Tyabji is currently pursuing a doctorate in art history.

"I am honored by Hatim's gift and excited by its potential for UB," said Durriya Tyabji. "Students will benefit from the research and leadership that such a professor will bring to the engineering school."

Tyabji concurred: "Just as engineering blends education with application, this gift blends my business success with an opportunity to endow the future."

UB President William R. Greiner praised Tyabji for choosing "to honor his wife in a unique and special way with this exceptional gift, which will greatly enhance the academic offerings and research capabilities of our School of Engineering and Applied Sciences through the leadership that such a professor will provide.

"A pioneer in the field of wireless data technology, Mr. Tyabji is an innovative business leader and outstanding role model for UB's students," Greiner added. "We are proud of his many accomplishments and delighted that he has decided to remember his alma mater in this manner."

Mark H. Karwan, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, added: "This is a wonderful gift that will provide even greater strength to our engineering and computer science program as we strive for leading-edge excellence in the 21st century."

Born in Bombay, India, in 1945, Tyabji came to the U.S. in 1967. He holds a bachelor's degree from the College of Engineering in Poona, India, a master's degree from UB, an MBA in international business from Syracuse University and is a graduate of the Stanford Executive Program.

Tyabji is both a corporate executive and entrepreneur. His career began at Sperry Corp, where he worked for 13 years in various management positions, last serving as president of the Information Systems Products and Technologies Group of the [IM1]merged Sperry and Burroughs organizations, which has since become Unisys Corp.

From 1986-98, he was chairman, president and CEO of VeriFone, negotiating the merger of that company with Hewlett Packard in 1997. In 1998, Tyabji launched Saraide; a company designed to drive the convergence of the Internet and wireless telecommunications. A year later, as chairman and CEO, Tyabji negotiated the sale of the company to, merging all of the wireless assets of into Saraide, from which he retired as chairman and CEO earlier this year.

Tyabji continues to be an active business leader serving on the boards of Ariba, Best Buy, eFunds, Impresse, Infineer and SmartDisk. He also serves on the Dean's Advisory Council for UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In 1995, he received the Engineering Dean's Award.

The Tyabjis live in Los Altos Hills, Calif.

Tyabji's leadership gift is part of UB's $250 million campaign, the largest ever conducted by a public university in New York and New England. Although it's the fifth major fund-raising campaign conducted by UB, it's the first national/international campaign, the first university-wide campaign and the first to be alumni-driven with campaign volunteer leaders from all over the country. Funds raised will used to enrich academic programs, support students ranging from undergraduates to post-doctoral students and to enhance university life.

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