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Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman Foundation Awards $15,000 Grant to Montgomery College Foundation for Athenaeum Symposia

Lecture Series to be named in philanthropist’s honor for the 2013-2014 academic year

The Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman Foundation is providing a $15,000 grant to the Montgomery College Foundation to support the 2013-2014 Athenaeum Symposia, an annual lecture series held at the Germantown Campus. The grant funds will enable the College to bring nearly a dozen nationally known experts to talk about timely issues in international affairs, the arts, politics, and economics. To recognize the generous support of the foundation, the lecture series will be named the Frank Islam Athenaeum Symposia for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Islam will give the first lecture, “Working the Pivot Points: To Make America Work Again,” at 7 p.m. on September 10, 2013, and will be followed by a reception. The lecture will take place in Globe Hall located in the High Technology and Science Center.

“Community colleges are pivotal to the future of America… Montgomery College, through opportunities like the Athenaeum Symposia, is playing a leadership role,” said Islam, president of the Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman Foundation, “Our grant recognizes that education happens inside and outside the classroom, and for students to be successful in the workplace and in the global economy, they will need to be lifelong learners about an array of topics.”

Islam is the chairman and CEO of FI Investment Group LLC (FIIG), an investment firm he founded in 2007 after he sold his information technology company QSS Group for $300 million. He has authored two books, Renewing the American Dream and Pivot Points: To Make America Work Again, which will be released October 2013, and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Indian Express, Economics Times, and India Abroad. In addition, he hosts a TV show “Washington Current Review” on MHz Networks. A well-known philanthropist, Islam and his wife founded the Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman Foundation was founded in 2007 to support educational, cultural, and artistic causes worldwide.

“Frank Islam’s generous support of the Athenaeum Symposia is a true gift to our students, our faculty and staff, and our community,” said Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard. “This support helps the College host thought-provoking speakers, helping us fulfill our goal of offering high-quality educational and cultural events to the hundreds of individuals who will attend these lectures. We are grateful to Frank, his wife, Debbie Driesman, and their foundation.”

Islam gives back to the community by serving on numerous boards, committees and panels, including those of educational institutions such as the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business; American University; University of Technology, Malaysia; George Mason University School of Management; Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He also volunteers his time to serve on the US Institute of Peace (USIP) advisory board, Department of Commerce Industry Trade Advisory Committee, and Maryland Governor’s International Advisory Committee. Islam holds a B.S. and a M.S. in computer science from the University of Colorado, and his website is

Other Frank Islam Athenaeum Symposia speakers for the fall 2013 semester include Arun Gandhi, a socio-political activist who will talk about his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi; Vic Fazio, a former congressman (1979-1999); Exit12 Dance Company, which tells the stories of veterans through performance; Dr. Maria Dakeke, associate professor of religion at George Mason University, who will discuss women in Islam; and William Change, who will play classical piano pieces.

All lectures are free and open to the public. For additional information, visit

For more information about supporting the Montgomery College Foundation, contact Carol Rognrud at or 240-567-7493.

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