Gift of nearly $6 million to Leeds School to Support Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Two Faculty Positions

Published: Dec. 9, 2016

One of the top CEOs in the Republic of Indonesia has pledged nearly $6 million in a philanthropic investment to support the Leeds School of Business’s efforts in entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The donor, Tandean Rustandy, is a 1987 Leeds School graduate and founder and CEO of the Jakarta-based PT Arwana Citramulia Tbk. Heading of one of the world’s largest ceramic tile manufacturing companies, Rustandy credits his success to his CU Boulder degree and wants to create more educational opportunities for the next generation of global business leaders.

“Without CU Boulder and Leeds, I would not be who I am today,” Rustandy said. “I come from a very humble family with working-class parents in Indonesia. No one was educated after middle school. I was the first of my family to go to college, and now it’s important that I give back to CU. It’s not about me as an individual and my success, but it’s about the success of the institutions that help create us. This is the legacy I want to leave.”

Rustandy’s philanthropic commitment will be distributed over time in the following ways:

  • $800,000 will advance strategic initiatives and strengthen core offerings in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation and design within the business school and collaboration across campus;
  • $1.5 million will establish an endowed professorship in global entrepreneurship and innovation with $500,000 of current funds to award immediately;
  • and $3.125 million will establish an endowed chair in global entrepreneurship and strategy.

Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Design – A Long-Term Vision

Rustandy’s investment adds to an array of CU Boulder initiatives supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.

“We are deeply humbled by Mr. Rustandy’s gratitude to CU Boulder,” said Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “Located in one of the nation’s most entrepreneurial cities, CU Boulder has a unique advantage as one of the top public entrepreneurial universities in the world. The leadership of the Leeds School and our alumni support, both philosophically and philanthropically, reaffirms our commitment to prepare CU graduates with an entrepreneurial mindset and skills.”

Central to these efforts is a focus on integrating the rich entrepreneurial expertise of the Colorado Front Range into the student experience at CU Boulder.

“Our aim is to elevate our efforts in entrepreneurship, innovation and design in new, refined and disruptive ways in and outside of the classroom, said Sharon Matusik, who recently was named interim dean of the Leeds School, to begin on Jan. 1. “To have Tandean step forward with this meaningful investment to continue our long tradition of entrepreneurship helps further not only our momentum with curriculum advancements, but also our world-class reputation.”