WHAT: News Conference and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding commemorating a partnership between West Virginia University and India’s Vellore Institute of Technology, one of the top-ranked engineering and technology schools in India

WHO: WVU President James P. Clements
G. Viswanathan, Chancelor of the Vellore Institute of Technology
Michael Lastinger, Associate Provost for International Programs

WHEN: Tuesday, June 29, 11 a.m.

WHERE: Stewart Hall lobby.

BACKGROUND: G. Viswanathan, who received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from WVU in 2009, is a distinguished leader and scholar whose incredible story reflects the power of higher education to change lives. He was born in a remote Indian village and went on to earn a master’s degree in Economics from Loyola College and a law degree from Madras University. Committed to lifelong learning, he most recently completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. As a student leader in his 20s, Viswanathan entered the Indian parliament, championing people’s issues, and was re-elected for another five-year term. Later, he served in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. In 1984, he established Vellore Engineering College. The college started out with 180 students, and it has grown to more than 14,000 students in 45 undergraduate and graduate programs. Continuing his dedication to improving people’s lives, Chancellor Viswanathan offers scholarships to students from economically disadvantaged areas of India to pursue higher education and has adopted a number of villages to help improve conditions. Under his leadership, VIT has forged partnerships with more than 80 leading institutions around the world to facilitate faculty and student exchanges, joint research and development, and curriculum development, and to promote global thinking among its faculty and student communities. Around 1,300 international students come to WVU from about 100 countries each semester, including about 250 from India.



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