The Ansari Family Gift

Ansari Family

The Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion was established through a gift from South Bend physicians and philanthropists Rafat and Zoreen Ansari, who are deeply committed to religious understanding and engaging the community in discussions about religion.

The gift is unique in that it establishes a global religion institute housed in a Catholic university with funding from a local Muslim family. As their benefactors desire, the Institute embraces an openness to the wisdom of diverse faith traditions, respectful partnership with local and global actors, and collaborations across disciplines to advance the mission of the institute, the Keough School, and the University of Notre Dame.

The Ansaris have three children: Sara (JD ’09), Adam, and Sonya.


Ansari Family
The Ansari family at the opening reception for the new Institute.

Learning More About the Ansari's at the following:


"An Unorthodox Gift to Notre Dame" (New York Times Article, 2017)

Rafat & Zoreen Ansari: Gifted Hands (PBS Documentary, Aired 2022)

Muslim Couple Give Big to Autism and Promoting Religious Understanding (The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 2023)