Memoirs of Mehdi Heravi
Mehdi Heravi is an Iranian scholar, author, and philanthropist who later moved to Utah for education at both USU and American University. As a youth living in Iran he participated in student political movements; later moving back after receiving his Bachelors’ and then Doctorates degrees.
USU’s language-focused programs will finally find a home at the new Mehdi Heravi Global Teaching and Learning Center, set to begin construction this spring on Champ Drive south of Ray B. West Building on Quad.
Early Life and Education
The Mehdi Heravi Collection includes photographs, letters, maps and newspaper clippings that document his life. He was born in Tehran, Iran to an elite family. As an English boarding school cadet he attended English boarding schools before coming to Logan Utah to finish high school. Influenced by American culture he petitioned his father successfully so he could attend USU for college studies where he earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, before continuing onto American University for further studies leading to a Phd in international relations.
Before returning to Iran, he worked as a professor before holding various administrative positions at Razi University and National University of Iran. Furthermore, he became active in philanthropy by supporting orphanages in Iran as well as Cerebral Palsy research efforts; additionally he funded scholarships at both USU and Merrill-Cazier Library’s Mehdi Heravi Global Teaching and Learning Center in Utah State University (USU).
Mehdi Heravi is the creator of Utah State University’s Heravi Peace Institute. This institute offers students peace-building and conflict resolution skills as well as opportunities to participate in global projects. He also established and funds the Heravi Internship Fund which assists SIS master’s students as they search for internships that apply their expertise toward international humanitarian work.
Mehdi Heravi has long been involved in philanthropy, contributing to projects such as an orphanage in Iran and Cerebral Palsy research. Additionally, he has supported scholarships, the Heravi Atrium in Merrill-Cazier Library and most recently, his Mehdi Heravi Global Teaching and Learning Center at USU.
Mehdi Heravi was born into an influential Iranian family. After attending school in England and petitioning his father for permission to travel abroad for further studies, he petitioned his father and moved to America. Graduating Logan High School and Utah State University with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees respectively in 1963/64 (BA-MA combined), and receiving his PhD at American University School of International Service later that same year (he earned this title later that same year), his career primarily consisted of academia – serving as Vice President before revolution occurred before American University School of International Service as Vice President before Iranian Revolution occurred (and also supporting various charities and academic programs through generous giving).
Mehdi Heravi has made generous gifts to USU through the Heravi Foundation, providing scholarships and funding the Heravi Faculty Seminar Room in Merrill-Cazier Library. Furthermore, he actively contributes to charitable endeavors including orphanages and Cerebral Palsy research projects.
Heravi was one of Iran’s wealthiest businesspeople, owning Rah Ahan Sorinet and Qeshm Airlines before being arrested as part of President Hassan Rouhani’s effort to fight corruption that had run rampant under previous administrations. Following arrest, Heravi was sentenced to death. His execution occurred later that year.
Heravi, a financially astute individual, used charitable gift annuities to generate significant residuals while making generous donations to charity – an approach often employed by Iranians living both within the US and globally.