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15 Largest Gifts by Indian Philanthropists in the United States

Rajen Kilachand’s $115 million gift to Boston University is the largest by an Indian to a U.S. institution.

Rajen A Kilachand, chairman and president of the Dubai based Dodsal Group, a mining, construction, manufacturing, and trading conglomerate, has gifted $115 million to his alma mater Boston University to create the Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering. Kilachand’s gift last month is the single largest gift by an Indian to an institution in the United States. It was Kilachand’s third major gift to Boston University, from where he graduated with an MBA in 1974. In 2011, he pledged $25 million to establish the Arvind and Chandan Nandlal Kilachand Honors College and one year later he contributed $10 million to renovate the student residences at Kilachand Hall.

According to the university, Kilachand’s gifts “collectively constitute one of the 50 largest gifts to higher education ever in the United States.”

On Sept 25, Tampa Cardiologist Kiran C Patel and his wife Pediatrician Pallavi Patel gifted $50 million to Nova Southeastern University to expand their programs in osteopathic medicine and health care sciences, the fourth largest gift by an Indian philanthropist in the United States. Patel has committed an additional $150 million to build a Tampa campus for Nova, which will rent the facilities from the donors.

Financial Advisors Chandrika Tandon and Ranjan Tandon’s $100 million gift to New York University is the second largest by an Indian to a U.S. institution. Photo: New York University

Last year, Chandrika Tandon, CEO of the financial advisory firm Tandon Capital Associates, and her husband Ranjan Tandon, chairman of the hedge fund Libra Advisors, gifted $100 million to New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering, which was renamed the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Venture Capital Fund Manager Kavitark Shriram and his wife Vidjealatchoumy Shriram gifted $57 million to Stanford University in 2014 to construct the Shriram Center for Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering.

Indians have made at least 15 gifts over $10 million to U.S. institutions since 2000, with four of them — Rajen Kilachand, Kiran and Pallavi Patel, Monte Ahuja and Raj Vattikuti — making multiple eight figure gifts. Collectively, the 15 gifts top $511 million.


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