Indian-American alumni offer support for US university

Washington (IANS): Two Indian-American families have offered financial support for the construction of a new research and engineering building in the University of Houston campus.

The Mehta family with four siblings who all are alumni of the university’s Cullen College of Engineering, together with engineering graduate Durga Agrawal and his wife, Sushila, have made significant contributions to construction of the $51-million Multidisciplinary Research and Engineering Building scheduled to be ready for occupancy in 2016, according to a varsity press release.

The new research facility will house “core facilities shared by researchers from departments around the campus, including high-performance computing facilities, a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer lab and imaging facilities”.

Renu Khator, University of Houston president, said the gifts highlight the university’s global student body.

“We continue to take pride in the University of Houston’s international stature, serving students, scholars and researchers from around the world who are working to address global problems,” she said.

“The enlightened generosity of the Mehta and Agrawal families is helping to build a world-class facility that allows UH to remain a welcoming and innovative place for this important work,” Khator added without giving details of the contribution made by the Indian-American alumni.

The ground floor of the building will be named the Mehta Family Engineering Research Centre, while the second floor will be the Durga and Sushila Agrawal Floor.

Both families have high regards for “the environment” offered by the university to its international students.

“It influenced us, and it gave us the ability to adjust to the United States. And it wasn’t just us. They were dedicated to every international student,” Jay Mehta, who earned his mechanical engineering degree from the varsity, was quoted as saying.

“The University of Houston was unique, because I was able to continue working on my education and also my life,” said Durga Agrawal, who has a long record of involvement as a University of Houston benefactor.