SUU to Everywhere

Reza Razavi

Reza Razavi
SUU to Real Estate Entrepreneur

Originally published on March 02, 2023.

By the time his SUU graduation arrived, Reza Razavi had determined to make a difference in the lives of others.

He says that’s an important lesson he learned on campus.

“When I think about SUU, the first word that comes to mind is ‘gratitude,’” says the social science major. “It was clear the people there have the best interests of the students at heart, and want them to succeed.”

Indeed, his life changed cosmically when, at 14, he came to America from his home in Iran. Living in Southern California with very limited means, the 17-year-old high school grad was motivated to attend SUU by his uncles, SUU ’60s alumni Mike and Matt Damavandi, and his brother, Dr. Hossein Razavi.

Mike and wife Annette, longtime campus employees, took him into their home, greatly aiding him, and he thrived on campus, with roles in student government and Sigma Nu Fraternity. Moreover, he displayed a strong work ethic—with several jobs on campus—and an interest in his fellow students’ success. And, he enjoyed grand encouragement and mentoring from such campus icons as Harman and Judy Bonniksen, Stuart Jones (’86) and Michael Stathis.

Reza’s upward trajectory continued in his post-graduate pursuits, as he earned a law degree from Florida’s Stetson University in 2000. However, he found the law unfulfilling and instead, true to his nature for giving back, became a popular economics teacher at Tampa’s Wharton High School. He used all he had learned—even the law—to inspire his students.

He also built a highly successful career as a real estate entrepreneur, and founded three companies.

Today, “free time” is an unknown concept to the energetic Reza, but he relishes preparing his students for economic success through financial literacy, and in schooling them in entrepreneurism. And not only has his financial success inspired his students, it’s also allowed him to retire this year—at age 45—and to build on his own entrepreneurial endeavors.