For most of us, our alma mater is just beyond an institution. We are often nostalgic, in gratitude and want to relive the days that shaped our early days. But for Prashanth and Anuradha Palakurthi, alumni of BITS Pilani, the college holds a special place in their heart as they first met and fell in love with each other while studying.
To show their gratitude towards the institution, the couple recently announced a donation of $1 million (Rs 7.1 crore). The institution said this is the largest ever individual donation received, reports News 18.
Based in the US, the couple are from the 1978-83 batch. Prashanth is the founder and CEO of US-based Reflexis Systems and Anuradha is the founder of Juju Productions, says NDTV.
The couple made the announcement during the ruby anniversary of their batch, where nearly 200 alumni were present.
“We wanted to give back to our alma mater, which gave us so much.” Adding to this, his wife Anuradha said, “We hope our contribution is followed up by many more from the hugely successful alumni,” said Prashanth while addressing the gathering.
Speaking at the event, Prof Souvik Bhattacharyya, Vice-Chancellor, BITS Pilani, termed the announcement by the couple as a “momentous and a game-changing gesture”.
He further added that,
With this pledge, BITS Pilani is launching a campaign to set up Rs 100 crore research endowment fund. This fund will help provide an additional thrust to research by way of attracting research-driven faculty, post-doctoral fellows and research scholars.
The 54-year-old institution operates from four campuses - Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad, and Dubai - and features in prestigious international and national ranking.