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Founder of closing Bebe stores has philanthropic ties to SF State

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Manny Mashouf, an S.F. State alumnus and the philanthropist behind Bebe Stores, breaks ground on a wellness center on campus that will be named after him on June 25, 2015. (Courtesy SFSU via Twitter)

Business is not going well for the philanthropist behind Bebe Stores who helped bankroll a major construction project at San Francisco State University.

Bebe Stores, Inc. is expected to close all of its stores in the U.S. by the end of May, according to a filing Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Manny Mashouf, an S.F. State alumnus who will soon have a wellness center on campus named after him, is the CEO and founder of Bebe.

The company has one store in San Francisco at the Westfield Centre, according to its website.

In 2005, Mashouf and then-wife philanthropist Neda Nobari donated $10 million to S.F. State for a performing arts center. The donation has since been redirected to the construction of the Mashouf Wellness Center, which is slated to open this year and was mostly funded through student fees.

At the time, Forbes ranked Mashouf one of the 400 richest Americans. He was reportedly worth $1.5 billion in 2006.

Nobari, who is also an alumnus, was the former director and vice chair of Bebe Stores between 1985 and 2006. She is scheduled to be the commencement speaker for S.F. State’s class of 2017 graduation at AT&T Park next month.

Nobari is a philanthropist who donated $5 million last year for S.F. State to create a Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies. She also sits on the S.F. State University Foundation’s Board of Directors.

“Neda’s journey as a teenager from Iran to California, and later to a successful career in the private sector, is an inspiring story for our graduates,” S.F. State President Les Wong said in a statement announcing her May 25 commencement speech.

“Her background and her work on social justice initiatives are great examples of the possibilities of a higher education,” Wong said.

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