An Indian-American physician couple has made one of the largest gifts to a US educational institution.
Cardiologist Kiran C Patel and his wife, Pediatrician Pallavi Patel, have donated USD50 million to Nova Southeastern University (NSU) to expand its programmes in osteopathic medicine and health care sciences.
NSU president Dr George Hanbury said, “This is the largest philanthropic commitment in NSU’s history and a gift that is the seventh largest ever given to any university in the state of Florida.”
Speaking at an NSU event unveiling the gift, Patel said, “We firmly believe that the best gift anybody can give to anyone is the gift of education. Once you educate a person, you transform his life, family’s life, and the society and the country.”
The USD50 million gift is the second largest by an Indian-American to a US educational institution. In 2015, Chandrika Tandon and Ranjan Tandon, who made their fortune in the financial sector, gifted USD100 million to New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering, which was renamed the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
NSU has renamed two of its colleges as the Dr Kiran C Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Dr Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences in recognition of the gift.
The Patels plan to invest an additional USD150 million to develop a 325,000-square foot medical education complex in Tampa, which will house NSU’s Tampa Bay Regional Campus starting in Fall 2019. The complex is planned at the 27-acre site of the former Clearwater Christian College, which the Patel Family Foundation purchased last year for USD10.2 million. NSU has entered into a 20-year agreement to rent the complex for its Tampa campus. Its osteopathic medicine college will add 150 students starting 2019 on the Tampa campus, which combined with the 230 students currently enrolled on its main campus on Davie, outside Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will make it the largest osteopathic medical college in the state.
Patel, who was born in Zambia and received his medical training at Gujarat University, where he met his future wife Pallavi, is also developing a college in the Vadodara area in Gujarat. He envisages collaborations and student and faculty exchanges between the India college and NSU.
NSU, a private nonprofit university, enrols 23,000 students on its eight regional campuses in Florida, Puerto Rico and online.
The Patels are renowned for their philanthropy in the Tampa region. Most recently, in March 2017, they donated USD5 million to The Florida Hospital Carrollwood. Earlier, they gifted USD12 million to the University of South Florida to establish the Patel College of Global Sustainability and USD5 million to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center for the Pallavi Patel Performing Arts Conservatory.