Rajen Kilachand, a leading industrialist here of Indian origin and chairman of the Dodsal Group, has made an endowment of $25 million to a college, set up in his family name at the Boston University, focusing on liberal arts and innovation.
‘In this age of professional specialization, academic interest in the humanities is waning,’ said Kilachand, whose diversified group focuses on the construction industry and also runs around 60 Pizza Hut and KFC outlets in India.
‘People don’t want to go into liberal arts, but I think for people to be future leaders you need a focused approach to humanities, the fine arts, so that you have a well-rounded personality. Now, I’m ready to do my little bit,’ he added in a statement.
The Kilachand Honors College will offer the personal atmosphere of a small liberal arts college and the range and resources of a large urban research university.
The college promises classes with close interaction with the faculty, opportunities for research, and specialised career advice services. When applying, students can seek entry in tandem to any of the eight schools and colleges within the Boston University.
One-fourth of their coursework or 32 credits during the four-year course will be taken at Kilachand College in disciplines ranging from Bioethics to Astronomy and Literature to Climate Change, the statement said.
The honors college offers students the opportunity at an inter-disciplinary perspective in the liberal arts while maintaining focus on one of the Boston University’ 17 existing schools and colleges.
‘Rajen Kilachand is a person of extraordinary foresight and rare generosity,’ said Robert A. Brown, president of Boston University.
‘His magnificent gift will create an endowment for the Kilachand Honors College that will increase the quality of this innovative program and the range of opportunities it offers for all future generations of Boston University students,’ added Brown.
Last year, Kilachand College admitted its first batch of 58 students. This year, the second class had 84 students, and the third year three will see a class of roughly 100 students, going up to 400 students by 2015.
Applications numbered 19,500 for this year.
Founded originally in Mumbai, the Dodsal Group is a leading player here in engineering, procurement and construction business, with interests also in trading, mining, oil exploration, energy and even casual dining.