The Dr. Ahmad Rezvan Story

The Secret Scholar

Growing up in Iran, Dr. Ahmad Rezvan was a bright, inquisitive boy only 14 years old when his father died suddenly. As the oldest son in a traditional Persian family, Ahmad was now the “man” of the family. He was expected to quit school and go to work to support his mother, two younger sisters, and baby brother.

Ahmad was a dutiful son. He worked full-time to provide food and clothing for the family. But he also secretly continued going to school. Even at that young age, he somehow understood the importance of education and made great sacrifices to complete his schooling. He went to classes during the day and then went to work until late in the evening. While the rest of the family was sleeping, Ahmad would stay up late to complete his homework. He often read his textbooks in bed under the covers with a lantern so nobody would notice.

Without any of his family or friends even knowing it, Ahmad managed to graduate from high school. He was proud of his accomplishment—but he wasn’t done yet. He dreamed of attending a university to study medicine. But to do that, he’d have to spend another year studying for the National University Entrance Examination. He sold his beloved violin to pay for exam prep classes and continued to study in secret at every opportunity. Ahmad eventually met other friends who also had to work while preparing for the exam, and they began meeting in the park at night to study together. Local shopkeepers took pity on the small group of hard-working young scholars and often gave them whatever leftover food had gone unsold during the day.

Against all odds, Ahmad scored exceptionally high on the exam and was accepted into the highly selective University of Tehran medical school—the most prestigious school in the country. When Ahmad’s family and other people in his town learned the news, they could not believe it. Nobody had even known he was studying for the exam! His story was published in the newspapers, and he was celebrated as a local hero.

One of Ahmad’s uncles was so impressed by the young man’s incredible perseverance that he offered a loan to help support the family while Ahmad went to the university. Years later, Ahmad was able to repay the loan. But he never forgot his uncle’s generous gift—or the kindness of the local shopkeepers—that made it possible for him to continue working toward his dream.

A Lifelong Passion for Education

At the University of Tehran, Dr. Ahmad Rezvan immersed himself in the study of the causes and effects of diseases. He completed his medical degree, opened his own laboratory, and became one of the country’s most highly respected pathologists. He got married and had three children. After the Iranian revolution of 1979, the Rezvan family moved to Turkey for a few years and eventually immigrated to the United States, where they settled in Columbus, Ohio.

Throughout his life, education remained an enduring passion for Dr. Ahmad Rezvan. He was an incredibly honorable and generous man who always looked for ways to help others in the way his uncle once helped him. He was immensely proud that all three of his children completed their educations and went on to successful professions. That, for him, was a lifelong dream fulfilled. He truly felt rich beyond measure.

In 2012, Ahmad and his wife took a trip back to Iran to visit family. As he boarded the plane, Ahmad remarked to his wife with a smile, “Our job is done.” Looking back now, his words seem almost prophetic. He died unexpectedly just a few weeks later.

A Legacy of Love and Learning

Ahmad’s three children were devastated by the loss of their beloved father, who had been such a tremendous role model throughout their lives. Dr. Ehsan Rezvan, Ahmad’s middle son, wanted to find a way to honor his father’s legacy. Along with his wife, Dr. Rezvan decided to establish a scholarship foundation in the family’s name, since education had meant everything to his father.

Today, the Rezvan Foundation for Excellence awards scholarships to exceptionally talented and dedicated students who lack the financial resources needed to continue their education. Dr. Rezvan’s goal is to identify young people who are struggling as his father once did—and give them the helping hand they need to continue their education and succeed in life.

Want to help continue Ahmad’s inspiring story? Donate Now to help young students in need.