Zuheir and Susan Sofia of Columbus, Ohio, made a commitment of $500,000 in support of the Office of International Programs.
In recognition of this gift, WKU's International Center is now named the Zuheir Sofia - Dero Downing International Center in honor of Sofia, who is a former international student and a '69 alumnus, and his longtime friend, Dero Downing.
The Sofias' gift will provide $50,000 for capital improvements at the Center and $450,000 to create the Zuheir and Susan Sofia Fund for Excellence, which will support scholarships and a number of other important priorities.
"Dr. Dero Downing was president of Western Kentucky University when I was a student at Western. I am forever grateful for his compassion, support, and understanding of the need and the aspiration of international students. His vision, leadership, courage, knowledge, and commitment to Western made a tremendous impact on me as well as my classmates and the Western Kentucky University at large"
- Zuheir Sofia