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Philanthropists Drs. Jagdish Mehta, Ph.D., and Devyani Mehta, M.D., Donate $100,000 to UNLV to Launch Mehta Family Student Investment Fund

“Look for value in everything: how you live, act, and invest.” This guiding principle defines the Mehta family and their commitment to enriching the lives of students. 

Last spring, Jagdish (Jag) Mehta — a longtime adjunct instructor at UNLV — and his wife, Devyani, gifted $100,000 to launch the Jagdish Mehta and Family Student Investment Fund. 

Dr. Daniel Chi, chair of the Department of Finance; Jagdish Mehta; Devyani Mehta; and Lee Business School Dean Gerry Sanders.

Managing the new fund is integrated into a class in the Master of Science in quantitative finance (MSQF) program at UNLV’s Lee Business School. It will be taught by longtime finance professor Michael Sullivan. 

Jagdish Mehta’s Journey

When you meet Jagdish Mehta, his excitement is fresh and contagious, and his hunger to learn and share his knowledge is obvious. In 1968, he moved to Lansing, Michigan, from India with little money but big dreams. He attended Michigan State University, where he earned a Master of Science in chemical engineering and an MBA with a focus on product management and eventually a doctoral degree in business administration. 

In 1990, Mehta, his wife, and two sons moved to Las Vegas from Louisiana after losing nearly everything he had invested in 70 companies when oil prices plummeted and the local economy collapsed. Though he was fortunate not to file for bankruptcy like many had, it was still a devastating loss.

In Las Vegas, Devyani continued her career as an obstetric anesthesiologist and Mehta had planned to stay home with his sons who were 8 and 14 years old at the time. He slowly began dabbling in investing again, mostly municipal bonds that had little risk, and then eventually real estate.

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