The Kassouf Scholarship: The Power of Investment in a Person

As a student at UAB, Hafiz Chandiwala was awarded an endowed scholarship. Now he’s giving back to help others. 
Hafiz Chandiwala Hafiz Chandiwala Twenty-one years ago, Hafiz Chandiwala was an accounting student at UAB, struggling to balance college studies while supporting his young family.

“I was working full time, I had a family, I was young, and I was going to school at night to try to finish my degree in four years,” he recalls. “I was receiving some financial aid and student loans to support my way through school, but I had not applied for anything I wouldn’t ultimately have to pay back.”

However, to his surprise, the School of Business Scholarship Committee awarded him the Louis Paul Kassouf Endowed Scholarship for accounting students. “I was very shocked -- amazed and grateful – to receive a scholarship, and without it, I am not sure I would have been able to finish my education,” he says. “That scholarship changed everything for me.”

Today, Chandiwala is the Chief Financial Officer of Coca-Cola Bottling Company United. And in 2005, he created his own scholarship in the Collat School of Business to provide more opportunities to UAB students who, like him, are juggling financial challenges and big dreams. The Hafiz Chandiwala Endowed Scholarship in Accounting is designated for accounting majors who are working full-time while attending college at UAB.

“I receive letters from the recipients,” he says. “It’s heartwarming to know that you are able to help others in a manner that you were once helped and kind of pay it forward.”

After graduating in 1994, Chandiwala practiced public accounting for five years, then served as CFO for a local manufacturing company for two years before joining Coca-Cola Bottling Company United as the Corporate Controller and Assistant Treasurer. By 2002 – less than 10 years after receiving the Kassouf scholarship – he had risen to the role of CFO. Since that time, he has lent his expertise to numerous committees both within the company and through related groups. He has also been a generous supporter of the Collat School of Business, UAB Athletics and the School of Education, and serves on the Leadership Cabinet for the Campaign for UAB.

“I really believe in UAB – what it stands for and what it means to our community,” he says. “It’s fulfilling to be able to do something to give back. It takes everyone to move forward, so I’m happy to do my part.” He is especially proud that his son, Amaan, followed in his footsteps: A Collat Scholar in the School of Business, he is majoring in finance.

The Louis Paul Kassouf Endowed Scholarship was established in 1988 by the partners of L. Paul Kassouf and Associates, a Birmingham accounting firm. The Kassouf family has continued to invest in UAB over the years, including their most recent gift to name the Kassouf & Company Suite for the Department of Accounting and Finance in the new business building.

For more on supporting students in the Collat School of Business, contact David I. Allen, Senior Director of Development at 205.996.5399 or diallen@uab.edu