What began as a social experiment for Shashikant (Shashi) Gupta and his wife Margaret has turned into a successful business built on strong values — and so much more.

Human dignity. Integrity. Excellence. The Guptas live and operate their business, Apex CoVantage, on these principles. And the two recently applied this same ideology to the establishment of a $2.5 million endowed fund to create the Gupta Values Scholarship.

Shashikant (Shashi) Gupta (MBA '75) and Margaret Gupta.

Shashikant (Shashi) Gupta (MBA ’75) and Margaret Gupta

Within a few years, the endowment will annually support a cohort of 20 students pursuing any field of study. The students will have exhibited these values in their lives and demonstrate a continuing commitment to them. In addition, the endowment will give each student an experiential learning opportunity off campus.

“We really wanted to extend our values beyond our company and its employees,” Shashi says. “The idea was that, if we can find young people who we could inspire to live out these same values, it would be the perfect way to extend this experiment.”

As co-founders, Shashi serves as the CEO of Apex CoVantage and Margaret as COO, where both direct not only the company’s technology strategies, but also provide leadership in the company’s unique culture.

Broad alumnus Shashi (MBA ’75 and PhD Social Science ’80) is a true Spartan. In fact, he read the story of the Spartans at Thermopylae in middle school and admits he loved “their tenacity of not giving up; staying committed to the mission; and being willing to sacrifice for what they believed in.”

For him, being a great Spartan also means paying it forward.

“We hope the students will live their lives in a good way and influence others, whatever path they choose to take — they can be a botanist or nuclear physicist,” Margaret says. “And Michigan State needs this type of investment to be a university of excellence.”

One of the distinctive aspects about placing a gift in an endowment is that the fund will never be depleted. For example, a $2.5 million endowed four-year scholarship program (similar to the Gupta family’s gift) could potentially award more than 600 annual scholarships by the year 2035.