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Business entrepreneurs create $500,000 scholarship endowment to promote student success

Raj and Mona Malik know a thing or two about creating a culture of innovation and success. As the CEO and treasurer, respectively, of Bioworld Merchandising Inc., both helped transform a business idea Raj had during his days at The University of Texas at Arlington into a global company recognized as a leader in the apparel licensing and branding industry.

Vistasp Karbhari, Mona Malik, Raj Malik and Troy Johnson

UTA President Vistasp Karbhari, Mona Malik, Raj Malik and Troy Johnson, UTA's vice president of enrollment management, celebrate the $500,000 gift the Maliks gave UTA for a student scholarship endowment.

“I was raised by parents who instilled in me from an early age that it was virtuous to help everyone around you,” Raj said. “I want to make sure these scholarships enable students to pursue their dreams.”

The University announced today that Raj and Mona have pledged $500,000 to establish a permanent scholarship endowment to fund need-based scholarships for students, including international students. The Maliks are now counted among the numerous donors who have made the dream of a college education possible for current and future students at UTA.

“UTA is extremely fortunate to have the support of tremendous alumni and friends such as the Maliks. Raj’s story from student to leader of industry is inspiring, and his spirit of entrepreneurship has already been the catalyst for so many of our students. The gift announced today will be transformational – enabling current students to achieve their dreams and in doing so change not just their own lives but those of their families and the communities in which they reside,” said President Vistasp Karbhari. “I’m deeply grateful to the Maliks for paying it forward through this endowment and would like to thank them for providing hope and enabling the promise of a future for students at UTA.”

Raj graduated from UTA in 1993 with a degree in computer science engineering. While he initially created the business plan for Bioworld in the early 1990s while a college student, it took persistence and commitment to launch the company in 2000. Irving-based Bioworld Merchandising Inc. is now averaging compound annual growth of over 20 percent and employs a workforce of more than 200. The company has licensing agreements with the major studios and intellectual property holders in the country, representing apparel, movie and entertainment brands. It recently acquired Global Design Concepts, expanding the company’s reach into children’s apparel and accessories across Europe and Asia.

“I came from India directly to UTA when I was 19 years old and want to extend my sincere thanks to the entire UTA community – the staff, students and faculty who supported me and helped make the transition seamless,” Raj said. “Although I was a computer science major, I drifted away from that area of study more than a few times, and the tremendous faculty supported me in all of my endeavors. They remain a group of educators dedicated to inclusiveness and accessibility for all. I can confidently state that I would not be here without their support.”

Paying back their success is what makes their commitment to UTA all the more inspiring, and it is a major reason why the University is thriving as the third-largest producer of intellectual capital in Texas.

“I am thankful for the work Dr. Karbhari and his team are doing,” Raj said. “They are an outstanding representative of an American public institution of higher education. I am very proud to be a UTA alumnus and want to thank them for everything they have done for our family.”

Rose Youngblood, interim vice president for development and alumni relations, said, “Alumni support through private philanthropy is sending a very strong signal to our students. When students see they are going to graduate into a proud and faithful alumni family that gives back their time and their financial support, they become even more determined to achieve their goals. Raj and Mona’s gift is a great example of the difference our alumni are making on campus today.”  

Last year, UTA awarded a record 12,746 degrees, the third most in the state and a 10.6 percent increase over 2015-2016. Enrollment reached almost 43,000 Texas-based students in the spring 2018 semester, a record high and a 2.4 percent increase over last spring, with a global total of more than 60,000 expected this academic year.

Scholarships have become a vital piece of UTA’s progress as a top-tier school of choice for students around the globe. The Rajeev and Ritu Malik Endowed Scholarship for Student Success will undoubtedly continue the University’s forward momentum by attracting local and international students.

With such rapid growth, opportunities abound to foster an environment of success for talented students at UTA, and the commitment of the Maliks demonstrates that giving back not only helps these students thrive but also has the potential to enrich our entire community by sparking new ideas that drive our economy and improve our quality of life.'

-- Written by Tommy White