Farah Khan '98

Opening Doors

"When we lost my brother, Naved, my Mount Holyoke friends supported me. They knew what he meant to me and many remembered him as a fixture of our Mount Holyoke experience.

In fact, Burcu Betni ’98, an international student from Turkey, married one of Naved’s closest friends.

It was during a conversation with Burcu and her husband that we came up with the idea for a scholarship and they helped get it started."

Farah D. Khan and familyDuring her 15-year career in finance, Farah D. Khan ’98 (right), has overseen growth capital financings and leveraged buyout investments of consumer, retail, and media companies. She started her career in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs, an opportunity that resulted from a Wall Street internship that she found through Mount Holyoke’s Career Development Center.

“I discovered that I had both the academic training and the confidence to succeed in Wall Street’s male-dominated workplace. Mount Holyoke has served me well in every position I’ve held since.”

Khan was born in India and raised in Oman, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East. Though she had never set foot in the United States, she applied to Mount Holyoke on the recommendation of her brother, Naved, who was studying at MIT. “Naved truly was a mentor to me and my two sisters. After attending a conference at Mount Holyoke, he urged me to apply because he was deeply impressed by the women he met,” said Khan.

Thanks to a generous financial aid package, Khan enrolled—sight unseen. “When I first passed through the gates, I never imagined the wonderful experiences ahead. And I never would have enrolled except for Naved’s guidance.”

Now, Khan and her younger sister, Huma ’01 (pictured far right), are honoring their brother—who died tragically two years ago at age 39—through the Naved Ahmed Khan Memorial Scholarship Fund. It will, they hope, continue their brother’s legacy by opening doors for other students from India.

“We could have set up this scholarship fund at MIT, or at Stanford where Huma and I both earned M.B.A. degrees,” said Khan. “We chose Mount Holyoke because of its continued tradition of attracting top international students and providing them enriching educational and leadership opportunities.

“My brother was a fierce advocate for women’s education. He encouraged all of us to be great at whatever we chose to do. In his honor, I want to make sure this scholarship helps future leaders from India do just that.”