November 7, 2016

Daniels launches international engagement campaign, announces alumni initiatives during trip to India, Taiwan

Danies India pinnacle Purdue President Mitch Daniels, at left, presents a Pinnacle Award to Venu Srinivasan, chairman and managing director of TVS Motors, on Oct. 25 in Bangalore, India. Srinivasan, a 1977 Purdue management graduate, accepted the award on behalf of TVS. (Photo provided) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University President Mitch Daniels launched an international engagement campaign as part of Ever True: The Campaign for Purdue University during a trip to Bangalore, India, and Taipei, Taiwan.

During the trip, which ran from Oct. 22-28, Daniels also announced a new doctoral fellowship program and presented a prestigious Pinnacle Award to TVS Motors for contributions of more than $1 million to Purdue. The trip further served as an opportunity to encourage research partnerships and strengthen ties with international alumni leaders.

Daniels and Suresh Garimella, Purdue's executive vice president for research and partnerships and Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, visited with institutional and corporate partners and alumni in an ongoing effort to make a global impact through research and educational engagement. Mary Dennis, vice president for international outreach and engagement in the Purdue Alumni Association, and Cheryl Altinkemer, associate vice president of international advancement for the Purdue Research Foundation, accompanied Daniels and Garimella.

Daniels Taipei President Daniels (center, front row) attends an alumni dinner last month in Taipei, Taiwan. (Photo provided) Download image

"I believe we had a highly useful trip," Daniels said. "We met with hundreds of Boilermaker alumni and friends, and it was uplifting to hear how their Purdue experiences prepared them for successful careers in industry, government and academia. It was also a pleasure to announce the new Dr. Reddy's Laboratories – Purdue Doctoral Fellowship Program, which has triggered interest in similar programs with other Indian companies."

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories will fund a five-year program that targets supporting two new fellows from India annually to work on their doctorates at Purdue. Purdue and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories signed a strategic partnership memorandum of understanding in 2015 to strengthen pharmaceutical research and development. Two fellows will be selected in January 2017. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories is a global pharmaceutical company that makes products across major therapeutic areas including gastrointestinal ailments, cardiovascular disease, pain management, oncology, anti-infectives, pediatrics and dermatology.

Daniels also presented a Pinnacle Award to TVS Motors on Oct. 25 during an alumni reception at the Leela Palace Hotel in Bangalore. Venu Srinivasan, a 1977 Purdue management graduate and TVS chairman and managing director accepted on behalf of TVS. The company's most recent gift to Purdue was highlighted with the establishment of the Indian Emerging Scholar Fund that is intended to help attract the best and brightest Indian undergraduates to Purdue.

During the same event, Daniels also cited Purdue's commitment to affordability and world-class education and invited attendees to help make an impact by engaging with the university.

"Venu and other successful alumni are helping us keep a rigorous college education within the financial reach of all students," he said. "Through our International Engagement Campaign, we will celebrate the generous philanthropy of our alumni and friends, invest in our students and faculty, and foster the breathtaking contributions our graduates bring to all corners of the globe."

The international campaign has already raised $28 million. The overarching Ever True campaign began its silent phase on July 1, 2012, and was publicly announced on Oct. 9, 2015, with a goal of $2.019 billion by 2019, the university's 150th anniversary year.

While in India, Daniels also:

* Met with Purdue Alumni India network leadership and the Purdue-India Executive Council on Oct. 24. Daniels announced the council of leading Indian alumni, which serves as an advisory board to Purdue on its strategic engagement with the country, during his 2015 trip to India.

* Participated in a life sciences panel discussion at the National Centre for Biological Sciences. The panel was moderated by Garimella, and participants included Vijay Chandru, co-founder and chair of Strand Life Sciences and Strand Genomics; Satyajit Mayor, director of NCBS; and Gayatri Saberwal, faculty at the Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology.

* Interviewed the head of LinkedIn India. Purdue alumnus Akshay Kothari opened LinkedIn India headquarters to an invited group of high school students, alumni and friends in high-level IT positions in India. Garimella also gave a presentation on Purdue's successful initiatives that promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Purdue delegation also visited Purdue alumni who work at GE's first and largest global research and development center – the John F. Welch Technology Center - at the invitation of its vice president and managing director, Purdue alumnus Munesh Makhija.

In 2014 Purdue designated India as a country of strategic importance to the university. Since then, there have been coordinated campus-wide engagement efforts to strengthen ties with India in five key areas. They include bilateral academic mobility; alumni relations and advancement; institutional and programmatic partnerships; government and corporate partnerships; and branding and communications.

Preparations also are underway for the 2017 Purdue-India Collaborative Lecture Series in Partnership with Professor C.N.R. Rao as well as the 2017 Purdue Undergraduate Research Experience that fosters linkages between Purdue and key Indian Institutes of Technology.

Nearly 1,900 students from India are enrolled at Purdue and 120 faculty are of Indian origin. Purdue is the No. 1 STEM school for international students, with 7,111 international students in STEM fields, according to a 2015 U.S. government report from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. It also has the highest enrollment of Indian undergraduate students of any U.S. university. Taiwanese students comprise the fourth largest international student population at Purdue with 278 enrolled in fall semester 2016.

In Taipei, the president had several one-on-one meetings with prominent alumni, was the guest of honor at a high-level alumni dinner, and spoke to more than 150 alumni and friends at a reception at the Grand Hyatt hotel. He also gave numerous prime-time media interviews to local media, highlighting Purdue's commitment to transformative education and world-changing research. 

Contact: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, 

Sources: Mitch Daniels,

Suresh Garimella,

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-22 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at