Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon donate $100m to NYU School of Engineering
The Brooklyn-based university said the donation will be used to support faculty hiring and academic programmes
The Polytechnic School of Engineering of New York University (NYU) on Monday received a $100-million contribution from Chandrika Tandon, a musician and NYU trustee, and her husband Ranjan Tandon. The school will be renamed NYU Tandon School of Engineering in recognition of the couple’s contribution.
The Brooklyn-based university said the donation will be used to support faculty hiring and academic programmes. The donation was announced by NYU president John Sexton and Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, dean of the School of Engineering.
A Grammy-nominated musician for her album Soul Call in 2011, Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon is currently a member of the Board of Overseers of NYU’s business school, a member of the NYU’s board of trustees and also leads the NYU President’s Global Council.
A graduate of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, Tandon was also among the first Indian women to be hired by McKinsey & Co., a company where she rose to become a partner.
In 1992, Tandon founded a financial advisory firm—Tandon Capital Associates, of which she’s currently the chair. She is also the sister of PepsiCo Inc. CEO Indra Nooyi.
Her husband Ranjan, according to an NYU profile, “is an engineer by training and a graduate of the Harvard Business School (HBS)”. Currently, he is the chair of the hedge fund firm he founded in 1990, Libra Advisors.
“We feel privileged to be able to participate in the transformation that is happening at NYU and at the School of Engineering. As a Trustee of NYU, I have had a front row seat to the energy and excitement of the Global Network University and the scale of possibility it presents,” said an NYU press release quoting Chandrika Tandon.
“Getting to know the engineering school was truly electrifying. The imagination and inventiveness of the students and faculty as they worked together on real world problems; the cutting- edge work being done both within the school and collaboratively across schools in such diverse areas like the arts, medicine, education, incubators; the entrepreneurial spirit that pervades the place — all this inspired us so. We truly believe that these students with the benefit of NYU’s global vision will make the world a better place,” she said in the release.
The institute was set up 161 years ago in 1854, when “the NYU School of Civil Engineering and Architecture as well as the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly were founded.”
Tandon said that the donation was also something they wanted to “give back to the city that has given us so much.”
“In 2014, after a merger”, the Wall Street Journal reported, “the institute became the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, one of NYU’s 19 institutes. The engineering school now has approximately 5,000 students and an endowment of about $115 million.”
The NYU School of Engineering, will “join other schools at the university that are named for donors,” according to the WSJ report. This includes the NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, which is named after Michael and Judy Steinhardt, who the report says, donated $10 million to the institute.
Likewise, the Tisch School of Arts, again a part of NYU, is “named for the members of the Tisch family, who also donated.”