Many alumni give to The University of Tulsa as a way of paying it forward. They enjoy supporting student scholarships and programs at their alma mater because of the rewarding experience they gained as students.
Feras Alhlou (BS ’88) can relate to the financial challenges of college life and is thankful for the scholarship he received as an electrical engineering major at TU. Now, as a successful CEO of a marketing intelligence and analytics consulting firm, he is funding a similar student scholarship.
“Those of us who are fortunate enough to do well, I think we owe a little back to the people and the institutions who have helped us. TU has definitely helped me a lot,” Alhlou said.
The support Alhlou received from his parents and siblings, the TU scholarship he was awarded and the money he earned while clearing tables at Jamil’s Restaurant in Tulsa allowed him to finish his undergraduate degree with no tuition balance.
“I’m grateful for what I have today and part of that is giving back to the community in Tulsa and TU specifically,” he said.
After pursuing graduate studies at TU, Alhlou worked as a hard design engineer for the Home Shopping Network in Florida. He then moved to the San Francisco Bay area where he joined a promising telecom startup. When the startup later ran out of money, Alhlou went on to launch a successful career in Silicon Valley where he cofounded E-Nor in 2003. He is now the CEO and principal consultant. E-Nor provides consulting and training to some of the most recognized brands in the world. “We’ve built a team with a Midwestern work ethic: Hard work and perseverance with humility pays off in the long run,” Alhlou said. He credits a major part of his career success with the quality education he received at TU.
“Having a rigorous, technical background in engineering prepared me to succeed in any field,” Alhlou said. His college education allowed him to switch career paths to the marketing and analytics field. “I can assess and troubleshoot a problem and find creative ways to solve it, which enabled me to make the career change from engineering.”
Alhlou and his wife, Ghaidaa Mousabacha, were married in 1987 during his junior year at TU. He jokes, “I made one C in my entire college career, and it was that year. It was a busy time!” They have generously supported TU through the years and are currently members of the esteemed Dean’s Circle of the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences.
“We’re grateful to the many engaged alumni like Feras and his family who have chosen to honor their education and alma mater with a generous gift. His contribution will advance the graduate careers of well-deserving students who can look to Feras as a model of success,” said James R. Sorem Jr., dean of the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences.
The Feras Alhlou Scholarship in Electrical and Computer Engineering he and Ghaidaa have established is a need-based annual scholarship that supports one student through their master’s degree program. “There are a lot of people who are really serious about their education but don’t have the means. I wanted to give back in this way so another student could benefit from a scholarship like I did,” Alhlou said.
Alhlou is the co-author of Google Analytics Breakthrough and has three children who are all college graduates. He trains in martial arts, holds a third-degree black belt in Aikido and enjoys volunteering and supporting nonprofits such as the Silicon Valley Red Cross and his alma mater.
To learn more about establishing a scholarship or making a gift to the TU College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, please contact Natalie Adams, senior director of Development, at 918-631-3287 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Gifts of all sizes are recognized by the U.S. News & World Report, each makes an impact.