Education

Professor of happiness? Sacramento State alumnus donates gift to university to study joy

Alum talks about putting happiness into lives of Sac State students

Entrepreneur and Sac State alumnus Rekhi Singh is bringing a happy mindset to the campus via a gift to establish the university’s very first endowed professorship, the Rekhi Singh Endowed Professor in Happiness.
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Entrepreneur and Sac State alumnus Rekhi Singh is bringing a happy mindset to the campus via a gift to establish the university’s very first endowed professorship, the Rekhi Singh Endowed Professor in Happiness.

Sacramento State just got a bit happier.

That’s because the university was gifted its first ever endowed professorship to promote the academic research of happiness.

Alumnus and businessman Rekhi Singh established the Rekhi Singh Endowed Professor in Happiness, saying he believes students will be better equipped to cope with stress and succeed if they practice happiness.

“In our time, they told us, ‘Go be successful and you’ll get happy,’ but no, it’s the other way around. Happy people are successful people, and in their workplace, the happy employee does a better job,” said Rekhi Singh. “They become a better citizen, and they’ll serve the community better.”

The position, housed within the Department of Psychology, will promote happiness through academic research and curriculum development. The money will be used for salary, research, travel, and activities to promote happiness at Sacramento State.

“The science of happiness is a real science,” Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen said in a statement. “I am so grateful to Rekhi for his generous gift, which will allow us to better understand happiness and how to spread it throughout the world.”

Singh did not disclose the amount of the donation, but according to the university’s guidelines for endowed professorships, the donation is at least $500,000.

Singh earned his master’s in business administration at Sacramento State, and is the chief executive officer of R Systems, a global technology and analytics consulting company.

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Sawsan Morrar covers school accountability and culture for The Sacramento Bee. She grew up in Sacramento and is an alumna of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She previously freelanced for various publications including The Washington Post, Vice, KQED and Capital Public Radio.
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