An Indian-American doctor couple in Florida has donated USD 12 million to a US university to establish a college of global sustainability, taking their total contribution to a whopping USD 26 million.
The new donation of USD 12 million from Kiran C and Pallavi Patel would establish the Patel College of Global Sustainability, the University of South Florida said in a statement.
The new college will elevate the work of the Patel School of Global Sustainability — created in 2010 as a graduate-level programme for engineers, entrepreneurs, and environmental managers looking to advance sustainability projects around the world — expanding its portfolio of projects focused on improving urban systems, water resources and access, and transportation.
"The world's rapidly depleting resources and growing population require us to become more efficient and think of new ways to develop sustainable and renewable sources of clean water, energy, food, and transportation," the couple said in a statement.
"The new college will create lasting changes that will improve and preserve the standard of living of global communities for many generations to come," they said.
Previous gifts from the couple have supported the Dr Kiran Patel Endowment Fund, construction of the Patel Center for Global Solutions, the Dr Kiran Patel Center for Global Solutions Operating Fund, and USF Health.
The Zambia-born Kiran and Pallavi met while studying medicine in Pallavi's native India, and they both received advanced degrees at Columbia University before founding a successful physician-owned and -run managed-care plan.
USF President Judy Genshaft commended the Patels for their leadership and influence in helping shape USF, now a Top 50 research university, with an international perspective that has become a hallmark of its applied research programmes.
"The new college will give the next generation the tools it needs to build a healthier and more sustainable future for our planet and its people, while developing a global network of leaders to put the most effective new tools and plans to work," he said.
Patel School of Global Sustainability Executive Director Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy said the new college will focus on demand-lead, output-oriented research and teaching that "results in real and measurable changes on the ground in order to create healthy, liveable and resilient cities."
"It will also train a new generation of sustainability leaders equipped with the skills necessary to advance the growing green economy, both in the United States and across the globe," he said in a university release.