Ramesh and Neena Chopra’s gift is to broaden awareness and understanding of India’s role in the world
The University of Central Florida will set up an Indian community endowed chair for The India Center with the help of a generous grant of $250,000 from an Indian American doctor couple of Ramesh and Neena Chopra. The duo from Port Orange, Florida has gifted this with a specific aim to spread awareness and understanding of India’s role in the world and amplify the mission of The India Center at the university. Both have practiced medicine in Florida for more than 40 years after shifting here in 1982 from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Chopra’s gift will be enhanced by a $50,000 grant from the university through the UCF Challenge. With this, donors to date have pledged more than $2.5 million towards the $5 million goal of establishing the endowed chair position.
“It is our hope that our gift will help The India Center create a strong foundation for ongoing research and teaching about India, a diverse and dynamic culture that is both ancient and modern,” says Ramesh Chopra.
They are very well known in the Indian American community in Central Florida and helped establish CAPI, an Indian American medical professionals’ network to fundraise and pool resources for supporting health and wellness initiatives and leadership development.
Establishing an endowed chair reflects the rising importance of India and Indian students at UCF. 460 students from India is the second-largest group of more than 3,000 international students from 149 countries, in Fall 2022.
“We are honored that the Chopra family has chosen to support The India Center at UCF,” says Kerstin Hamann, interim director of The India Center. “Their gift makes a significant contribution to support the work and enhance the reputation of the center as we strive to become the nation’s preeminent location for the study of contemporary India.”
The India Center, housed in the School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs under the College of Sciences was established in 2012. It hosts symposia and relevant events for the regional Indian American community, UCF students, and faculty who want to know more about India and its impact in Florida.
The center has provided support to the UCF scholars and students in India and actively takes part in developing India-US partnerships among universities, companies, governmental, and cultural organizations in the areas of technology, politics, security, and medicine.